Turning to a New Year

In keeping with my positive attitude, I am looking forward to the New Year. A time, not to reinvent, but to acknowledge my flaws and do a better job of accepting them. I have held so tightly to the control of things, to my own detriment, that I have forgotten what it is like to loosen my grip and let things unfold. I cannot force a flower to bloom, neither can I force expectations upon others. So, my resolution is to learn to accept things as they are, to improve on my personal situation but to let go of the idea of control.

Our daughter tested positive for covid. I was momentarily knocked out of my body, lost in a void of blank, thoughtless space. I jolted out of this and somehow didn’t fall into panic. I gathered myself for what comes next and stayed calm. Of course, teenagers are going to be the weak link. They don’t know how to take a threat seriously, how could they? They typically haven’t seen disease waste someone away, or death become an almost constant shadow in the doorways. I do not blame her for what she could not control or understand, despite the words of warning that were given. We have always been careful, observing the rules, but nothing is guaranteed. We quarantined her in her room and made sure masks were worn. We just took tests ourselves today, the soonest we could get in to a place to get them done. We are fairly sure that we have covid, I’m not sure how we could have avoided it being in the same household. Every ache or sniffle, cough or dry throat suddenly drew our intense scrutiny.

I work in a medical parts facility, so I had to make sure that I contacted our HR and my manager to let them know. I put them on a conference call and we discussed what came next. I will work from home, getting a test (just done) and quarantining for 10-14 days, then getting tested again before I will be allowed back in the facility. We are careful there, lest we contaminate the facility. They wiped down the areas I worked in, just in case. So I’m going to be trying to adjust to a home office situation now. I feel tired and my joints ache, not something I usually feel, so it’s entirely possible I have covid. I’m afraid, but I’m not panicking, just concerned and well I don’t want to die. Three days to get the test results back is going to be a bit nerve-wracking.

Now on to a bit of good news, great news really… I received in my amended DD-214! A DD-214 is a certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. My reason to have it amended is that the original had my deadname on it. It has taken several months to get this done and I’m not sure if the covid situation has made this a longer process or if the DOD would have taken this long regardless. I know that I emailed them for updates during this wait and received replies so at least I didn’t feel ignored. When it came in the mail, on Christmas Eve at all times, I was stunned and happy.

I have one more thing that I am waiting on, my CRBA (Consular Report of Birth Abroad) amendment. The good news is that I had emailed them after a long wait, since May or March of this year. They responded very quickly, letting me know that things were slowed down due to the pandemic but that my amendment was being processed. I got a call a day later from the State Department, they had a few questions, mostly about what happened to my original CRBA. (It was destroyed when an Air Force drill instructor flipped everyone’s drawers onto the floor and glass bottle of heel-toe dressing busted on it, which dyed the CRBA and some other paperwork irrevocably black, as black as it could get.) Then they wanted to know if I had my 2019 issuance of the CRBA, I did not, as it was turned into the local courthouse with my name change paperwork and they filed it with the paperwork. It was the entire reason I got the issuance. The State department called again the next day asking me to complete a notarized affidavit saying why I don’t have the issuance. They said that everything is ready for completion of the CRBA, as soon as they get the affidavit it can be done. So I am excited on what is essentially my last piece of paperwork that I need to have changed. I can’t ever really leave my deadname behind, it will creep up on me at odd times from out of nowhere, but it will be the final piece I have control over.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful New Year and that you each find your light in the darkness.

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