We went to a "Hail and Farewell" the other day (a going-away party that doubles as a "nice to meet you" party in military circles) to say goodbye to some really good friends. We all know how lame I am when it comes to goodbyes but I gutted it out because these people are absolutely worth it. When life was falling apart around us, they stood by us. When I found myself in a deep, dark hole, my friend was there with a flashlight (and a glass of wine if I needed it).
And, while it was great to be there for my friends and formally say "farewell" to them, I was reminded why I have avoided that scene for the past two years. When everything hit the fan with regard to MacGyver's career, some people scattered like cockroaches in a greasy kitchen when the light comes on. It was to be expected - the situation was messy. And I can almost respect that. They ran and didn't look back. Fair enough.
The thing that really baffles me are those people that - even today, TWO YEARS LATER - treat me like I am radioactive; like I'm going to contaminate those around me and that, even by being civil, they might possibly be infected in some way. MacGyver's mess started right before soccer season and this person to whom I refer had children in the same league as my children. Not once did this person say hello - even when social situations would dictate such an interaction. Not once.
At first, it hurt. At first, EVERYTHING hurt. It was just salt on a gaping wound at that point. But two years later, it's ridiculously comical. I sat at the bar during this Hail and Farewell (drinking a coke, in the hopes I might stay awake during it all), watching this person literally walk around the outside of the building to get to the other side rather than walk past me inside the building; not just once or twice but three different times. In the rain.
Who does that? What kind of an adult acts like that? MacGyver's mess is close to being wrapped up. The scary/icky/horrible part of it all is over and done with. There's nothing left to contaminate anyone. It's done. And yet, this person cannot bring themselves to act like an adult. It would make me laugh if it weren't so sad.
As much as it kills me to think about leaving this place, I cannot WAIT to be out of here for this reason alone: so that we won't have to put up with this ridiculousness any longer. I'd love to go to a company or battalion event and not be treated like I have leprosy. But this whole experience has left quite a sour taste in my mouth with regard to company-level and battalion-level events and, should the Army choose to retain my husband, I don't see myself being much involved with those things ever again.
If I could speak personally to these people, I'd point out that they missed a perfect opportunity to rise to the occasion and support a fellow military spouse. My husband didn't die, nor was he injured. But our family was devastated by the events that transpired and, when we needed them most, they failed. They failed to offer comfort, support, kindness, or even simply to reserve judgment at a time where that one simple act would have meant the world.
I bet that gavel gets quite heavy.