a bomb

Thursday started like any other day and honestly it ended like any other day too.  There was just a bomb in between.  I don't mean to trivialize it - it certainly wasn't a minor thing - but maybe I've become desensitized to such violence since it seems like it's happening all the time here or maybe it's because it didn't really directly affect us (besides the additional work it created).  I think maybe I'm not able to consciously process all the emotions that go with such an act of violence so close to home in order to maintain my sanity?  I really don't know.  I was at work when I heard there had been a bomb, and I certainly was scared, especially because I knew Joey wasn't in the Embassy at the time and it took a few minutes before I knew he was safe.  And it's certainly overwhelming that there was a bomb inside Abuja, at the Police Headquarters, not to mention the fact it was perpetrated by a suicide bomber (the first one in Nigeria).  Maybe it's just too overwhelming for my mind to truly grasp and so that's why I don't feel any different or why I just kind of went on with my daily life or what.  I don't know.  I mean what else do you do? 

I guess more than anything I feel angry.  Angry that my parents and family have to sit at home, worried because there was a bomb in Abuja and although I'm safe for now, does that mean I'm safe tomorrow?  Angry that the people for whom my husband works won't assign Nigeria danger pay.  Angry that CNN's coverage of the bomb was limited to one sentence on the bottom of the screen.  I mean, really, how many bombs in Nigeria have to go off before somebody notices?  A suicide bomber from a group called Boko Haram, which literally means "Western Education is a sin," blew up the Police Headquarters two miles from the Embassy.  Hello!  Is anyone paying attention?!

So I've been really bad at keeping up my blog.  I've been really bad at keeping up my attitude.  After Thursday's bomb I am certainly thankful for my safety and that only a few people died but it's really hard to maintain a positive outlook when shit like that happens and then nobody even seems to notice.  It's pretty frustrating feeling like I just got dumped here in this incredibly difficult place.  I understand that we signed up for worldwide availability but I guess I just never realized the extent to which my life would change.  I'm so overwhelmed by so many things - I'm homesick, I miss my family, I miss my friends, I miss being able to go shopping or running without looking over my shoulder constantly, I miss not having to worry about bombs going off!  I miss not having to worry that I'm making my family worry.  I mean, sure, we leave in 19 days for an amazing R&R and we just got back a month ago from an amazing trip to Stockholm, and we have all these other amazing trips planned and there are definitely so many positives that I cling to but at the same time I really feel that I am just grasping at straws.  Everything is so hard.  And it just keeps getting harder.  And it's hard on me, it's hard on my marriage, and it's hard on my family.

And that's life these days.  I don't know, for some reason blogging about my trip to Stockholm or Mallory's visit or all the other things I was going to blog about just seem really trivial and I guess that's my excuse for being horrible at staying in touch.  It is what it is.


  1. Hang in there. Get your sleep and exercise. You will adjust and find your balance. Don't let the post eat your marriage. You need each other. Pray. Find the beauty in everyday life. I'm sure you know all these things already, but if you're like me, I need to be reminded when I'm feeling the stress and not-so-glamorous side of FS life.

  2. i'm definitely not in africa but i feel you. i never write on this b/s because nobody wants to hear the daily rant of life if all we're gonna do is complain. Just think though, you and Joey have made it half a year over there and soon it'll be over. Then hopefully soon enough, you'll end up somewhere close to paradise - or it'll seem like it compared to Nigeria. The family misses you all the time, and although we can't come see you, we're constantly thinking about you and wondering how your life is. You're experiencing something that none of us will ever be able to compare to, whether it be the best experience or not, you're learning from it. Trust, I may not be there for all the "skype" sessions cuz I personally think they're weird and awkward, but I really do miss you guys like crazy. Just be thankful you two both are financially stable in this horrible economic time and no matter what, you always have a home here.
    Don't get down on yourself, I know it's probably really easy to over there. I'd probably hate my life too. But it's almost over. You made it this far kicking ass and taking names, keep pushing.
    Love you.

  3. Wow. I'm so amazed. I'm amazed by your post - the resiliency you are developing, your resolve to make the most of each day, your willingness to expose your fears and frustration. I'm amazed by Lizzie's comments - the depth of her compassion and her ability to see the big picture. I'm amazed that I have two (well, really all three) amazing girls who are growing up to be such amazing adults - I'm so very proud of all of you. As Elizabeth so eloquently stated, "Keep kicking ... and taking names!" Hang in there. Better days lie ahead.

    And just for record's sake, I love our Skype sessions! Having the opportunity to see both of you and all the "boys" keeps me going each week. And each week we Skype brings us one week closer to seeing you and Joey in person once again!

    My last recommendation for you is the Serenity Prayer. It is my favorite prayer and helps me when I feel like I’m losing hope:

    God, grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change,
    courage to change the things I can,
    and the wisdom to know the difference.

    Living one day at a time,
    enjoying one moment at a time,
    accepting hardship as the pathway to peace;
    taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is,
    not as I would have it;
    trusting that He will make all things right
    if I surrender to His will;
    that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
    and supremely happy with Him forever
    in the next.

    Keep the faith. I love you and Joey very much!
    <3 Your momma

  4. Nomads gave you some great advice. (and it is something I think we all need to be reminded of in tough times.)
    Just wanted to send my good wishes your way. It is hard when life gets so disrupted like that, especially when it affects the day to day and normal stuff. I am glad you can get away sometimes. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers. Hang in there.