A Mixed Blessing

1 05 2009

One of my closest friends currently works as a nurse in the U.S. Army. She’s been in the army for about a year or so. A few months ago, she excitedly announced to me and our friends that she would be deployed to Baghdad, Iraq  this June through November. I was very hesitant about my reaction to her news. She seemed pretty excited to be picked to go abroad and to help out the soldiers fighting for the United States Army. I was glad she was happy to be honored to go to Iraq, but at the same time, I was scared for her life. (Granted, I talked to many people who had been to Iraq, and everyone seemed to say that it was safe over there and especially fine for nurses working there.) I was also not looking forward to the big time difference we would have to maneuver around in order to keep in touch. She already lives on the west coast, so the 3 hour time difference is enough to handle.

Last night, my friend called me, and she was upset. Apparently the Army had changed their mind and was not in fact deploying her to Iraq. She was really disappointed that she would not get the chance to go to Iraq and use her medical knowledge to help out in this war.  She told me that going to help out in Iraq was one of her biggest reasons in joining the Army in the first place.  She explained that she probably wouldn’t have another chance to be deployed and that she had been looking forward to the opportunity.

When she told me, my immediate reaction was to console her. I treasure my friendship with her dearly, and of course, if my friend is upset I will try my best to make her feel better. I’ve been friends with her since the fourth grade and she and I are very close.

I had such mixed feelings. On one hand, I was really excited that I would no longer have to worry about my friend’s life at risk in a country at war. I wouldn’t have to figure out Skype and the time difference and keeping in touch with her overseas. I would no longer be nervous about my friend’s life.

But on the other hand, I really did want my friend to be happy. She seemed really displeased with the situation. She kept saying how she has the worst “luck” and how things never work out for her. Pretty depressing. I tried my best to talk to her about it with her, while in the back of the mind, I was just extremely thankful for this turn of events.

I don’t want to seem selfish. I don’t want to seem like I wanted my friend all for myself. Of course I want my friend to be happy. Of course I want my friend to live! Of course I want “everything to work out.” But honestly, I can’t feel too terrible when my prayers have been answered for my friend to be safe in this whole Iraq deployment situation. Could her not going to Iraq really be “my fault” if I prayed for her to be in a safe situation?

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