My phone blew up (figuratively) the moment I landed in Chicago on the afternoon of Friday, August 18th. “Are you coming to work tomorrow?” I responded as calmly as I could; explaining that I wasn’t coming in until Monday. However, there was the part of me that felt like texting something back such as, “Are you ****ing serious? I haven’t seen my kids in two months, I’m coming back to a house that I’ve never slept in (so it doesn’t even feel like coming ‘home’), and I don’t know if I’ll be able to find a clean pair of skivvies in the morning since all my crap was thrown into boxes by someone else. No! I’m not coming to work tomorrow, so take me off the damn flight schedule…I’m resetting my currency on Tuesday!”
It seemed to go downhill from there; finding out Monday about members of my team who had moved on (not to mention the one who had coordinated his departure prior to my absence), 953 emails, and a couple of dozen voice messages….so much for the out-of-office voice prompt. And of course, everyone seemed to think their crisis was somehow my problem.
Tuesday was a welcome reprieve from the pandemonium. It felt good to climb back into the cockpit for a few hours and have a sense of normalcy even if it was fleeting. And fleeting it was; Harvey pummeling Texas with the associated necessity of sourcing crews for response, finalizing end-of-year fiscal execution, coordinating several trips, etc.
So, in a nutshell, my transition home has been less than harmonious although our Pub Theology group provided a supportive forum for sharing my Bosnia experiences. The processing is still a work in progress and probably will be for some time yet to come. However, I can look back at the experience and see the faces of friends that I have made; connections which will last a lifetime. It will not be my last visit to this beautiful land. After all, I drank of the water from fountain at the old mosque; a portent of ensuring my return.