There are certain calls that I wife should not have to wait for. One from the coast guard, to tell you if your husband is alive or dead, is one of them.
Thursday, September 20th it was early evening and I was finishing up some computer work when I received a call on our DIY Watermakers 1-800 number. I was asked if my hubby was on a plane with his friend flying from Texas to Florida and if he was that the coast guard had been in contact regarding an emergency on the aircraft. The line disconnected and I was left with a feeling of disbelief and the taste of metal in my mouth.
I'm not sure why it happens, but when your heart and stomach feel like they're both battling for who gets to reach your mouth first, I taste metal. From my early 20's the taste of metal and fear have been synonymous with each other. Not the "I'm being chased by a bear" fear, or the "a big spider just landed on my arm" fear. Not the fear that causes your adrenaline to spike and everything to become clear, but the fear that is accompanied by a deep seated knowledge that everything may NOT be OK.
The next few hours were very surreal. I had called the local Galveston Coast Guard office and they had put me in contact with their district office out of New Orleans. After I rattled on about not knowing if the call had been real or a prank, the Coast Guard officer informed me that an emergency had occurred on the aircraft over the Gulf of Mexico and helicopters and boats were on their way. He had no more information than that, but thanked me for calling and assured me that as soon as they knew something they would call me back.
They also asked for physical description and photos. I think it was then that it started sinking in that the helicopters and boats were looking for bodies, not people. I stared at my phone for the next hour waiting for it to ring. I knew that if the plan had gone down in the ocean that the chance of them surviving was very slim. And even if they survived the crash, would they be found out in the ocean with no life raft and darkness approaching. At this point all I could hope for was that the emergency beacon had gone off by accident, b/c I knew that if they crashed that the Coast Guard would be calling to tell me my husband was dead.
At some point my brain starting clicking enough to call my parents and let them know what was going on. Besides that I was in a fog, a haze just sitting and waiting for the worst.
My phone rang a couple of hours later and I scrambled to answer. The Coast Guard told me that he had "Good News" and honestly what he said after that didn't matter much. The words "alive" and "very very lucky" were about all I heard. I thank him profusely and he let me know that they would inform my husband to call me as soon as the helicopter landed. I hung up the phone and cried tears of relief.
As my Dad said "that's real grown up stuff to have to go through", and I hope it's not something either of us have to ever go through again. He is OK, they floated for about 3 hours but I'll let him tell his side of the story more in depth later. It is funny how things like this make you appreciate each other, and make you realize that every time you say goodbye to someone that it may be the last. So don't waste your time on petty fights, whose right or wrong, and you can never say I Love You enough. We've joked around about it a lot this past week b/c if you think too hard about it you just can't help but cry.
So in case y'all didn't already know. I love my hubby and he's everything I could have ever hoped for in a partner, a friend, a soul mate.