My hubby and I have had our fair share of ups and downs accompanied with varying degrees of unfortunate luck. None, however, have been quite as memorable (or scarring!) as the "event" which occurred on our anniversary several years ago. I now lovingly refer to it as "The Anniversary of 2005".
Hubby had been home from Iraq for over a year...a very rocky, tumultuous year (trust me...that is an entirely different post). His December guard drill had always been a family Christmas party where the soldiers could bring spouses and children to introduce, show off, mingle, interact...play nice (not always my strong point...again, best saved for another time).We had never attended it with him before mainly because his unit is stationed hours away from where we lived, traveling in South Dakota winters with little kids isn't always pleasant or safe, and I don't particularly care for meeting new people! I like to stay at home in my nest with my dudes, and I find idle conversation with strangers, well- painful!. Never the less, the amazing wife that I am, I agreed to join hubby on this cold trip through the frozen tundra with our kiddos in order to make hubby happy. He is so lucky to be married to such a pleasant wifey-poo.
Our trip was basically uneventful...the kids played nice with the other military kids, mommy played nice with the other wives, roads weren't terrible and the drive there was good. Sunday morning we packed up our little family into our vehicle, started a movie and set off on our 4-5 hour drive across the frozen state. Did I mention this was our anniversary? So we chit-chatted, almost a hope-filled conversation, on our drive....about where we've been, what we've been through, and where we hope to go. Maybe that was a little too much for fate to handle...a little too much joy and far too less drama for fate to turn a blind-eye and let our anniversary drive go smoothly without any unfortunate events.
About 2 1/2 hours down the road we stopped in a little town for a bathroom break and to get some snacks and drinks for the kids. Everyone back in car seats and seat belts, movie started, and we ventured off for the second half of our trip. Just outside of town something went wrong. Our vehicle was struggling...to move! Hubby revs the engine...nothing but high RPM's and a lot of noise. Do you know that feeling? You know...the one where it's 20 below zero, no cell phone coverage because it's the middle of nowhere and the can-you-hear-me-now guy hasn't made it to our remote area yet, my babies are in the backseat unaware of the dilemma we faced, and the car......won't.....move! Plus it's our anniversary!!! "Happy Anniversary babe! We most likely need a new transmission, I don't know how we are going to get our family home, and I think we are going to get an overdraft charge for that candy and soda we just bought. We don't have any extra money for Christmas presents...let alone a vehicle repair. We charged the gas for this trip. And I can't possible afford a card, let alone a gift, for our anniversary. But I love you!" It's not the most secure and confident in my future that I've ever been, to say the least.
Oh, and here is the irony in the whole situation. The town we are now stranded in, the town that we are indeed finding ourselves penniless and without a moving vehicle, the town that now symbolizes what our lives have been like post-war; that town's name is.......................... "Faith". Yep, "Faith". At the moment I didn't find any humor, or comfort for that matter, in the name. I actually thought it was s sick twisted way for the Lord-my savior, the One I am to put all of my trust into-to make a point. I realize everything happens for a reason and blah, blah, blah. But our reality at that point was zero money, zero transportation, a struggling marriage, and lots and lots of tears threatening to emerge.
Luckily, another soldier and his girlfriend were also traveling our way. They generously loaded us up into their vehicle and carted us back to our abode leaving our vehicle parked in "Faith". It was a long, silent drive home with fears, concerns, worries all racing through our heads. We weren't even making ends meet....it was more like we were getting them just close enough to bob our heads out of the water to catch a quick breath before being pulled back under again. Needless to say, it was a disheartening position in which to find ourselves.
When you have nowhere else to go but up...up seems to be the most logical direction to head . However, sometimes "up" requires help, prayer, and a little faith. My parents offered the help paying for our vehicle to be repaired...and they answered our prayers by getting our boys some Christmas gifts (including those from Santa) because they weren't getting any otherwise. And "Faith", although our lowest point, seemed to put us on the direct path to "up" where blessings abound, post-war turmoil ended, and happiness was reinstated.