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If you’ve read your email, you know now that Andrew is coming home, but before we get to this news item, the weather.

Overcast and rainy. I guessed 2C — I wanted to go higher but was unwilling to commit to that extra degree. I should have gone with it, because it was 3C at the sign. Rain is expected to continue through the day and into the night, with temperatures dipping to zero. Some snow is possible, but is expected to melt instantly and there will be no accumulation.

Last night I was practicing “speed” writing — writing quickly and naturally and trying not to edit myself too much in order to get a good bit of text on the page which I could trim and prune into shape — when my cell phone rang, once. It was right next to me, I picked it up first ring, but the phone had already marked it as a missed call.

Caller ID said the number called was from eastern South Carolina, and I thought Andrew had gotten a few minutes and permission to call home. Jenn’s said that sometimes she lets my cell phone ring ten or so times when I’ve only heard one or two rings (or none, sometimes), so I imagined that was the problem. Andy had called and let it ring and ring, then hung up, and I only got the one ring.

I called the number back, but didn’t get Andy. Instead, I got a drill sergeant, who thought I was someone else entirely. He’d probably given up on me and was calling someone else, when my call came in… somehow… and he was confused. I explained who I was, and then he made me tell him again, and then he explained why he had called.

He said that during standard psychiatric evaluations, Andrew had informed them that at times, he had wanted to kill himself. The Marines are not allowed to take on people who have ever had these thoughts, and so separation proceedings were begun.

I expected he’d be home by the weekend, then, but the sergeant said “weeks”. Huh? He’s only BEEN there three weeks, but I was mistaken, I guess — he must have been being processed in for a couple of those weeks, and had only just joined that platoon a week ago. I’ll get the full thing from Andrew soon.

So, he’ll be back home in a bit. Maybe he thinks that he’ll be able to return to his life of playing Xbox all day. He turns 21 in a week, though, and it’s well past time for him to get a life of his own. While I was depressed for awhile to not have any of my kids around for the first time in many years, I was — and am — moving on. I got my writing job, I went on a diet, was thinking about getting back into Sci-Fi fandom.

Anyway, that’s all I know about Andy and the Marines. If you want to write him a letter, he’ll probably get it if you send it this weekend, but I wouldn’t depend upon it past that.



  1. Well at least now he can scratch the Marines off his “to do” list and will be more willing to focus on school or a real job or both.

  2. What do you think are the best ways to offer Andrew support so that he doesn’t slip back into Xbox land? It seems he wanted to escape that by joining the Marines, but maybe needs some help to plot a different course. Let us know if have any thoughts on any guidance he could use to move on.

  3. Well, Plan A, before this, was to have him spend some time up in NH with Dawn helping her do whatever needs done to the land to recover from winter and get ready for spring — clearing, garden planting, anything that needs doing. That’s not a long-term solution to anything, but it might give him time to think about his future. And I think he gains a lot by being in nature, with animals and all that, the things he has always loved.

    Otherwise, I am going to have to find him a job. I can’t *make* him go to school; it will just be a waste of money unless he wants to make it work.

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