Alaska…and Brent

It was April of 2005. I was huge pregnant. 8 months. With Tristan. Brent and I were leaving in a medium size town away from any family. His family was 4-5 hours from us. Mine were in another state. We were spinning our wheels and surviving. Our bills hardly got paid. We had food and clothing and a very small house. Our car was in desperate need of some repair. The front end was smashed in from Mr. Deer and a dead bird was also hanging there. We were happy but we just weren’t cutting it on the financial front.

Saturday morning Brent went to work. He wanted to work overtime so that we would have extra money to barely pay our bills. His hours sucked. He left the house by 5 a.m. and would come in dirty, greasy and tired from the oil field around 7-8 p.m. But we stuck it out.

That afternoon I loaded the two kids into our damaged car and headed to Wal-Mart to get some groceries. There was a homeless man on the side of the road as I was leaving. I reminded myself that even though we were barely surviving, we had more than others. So I dug all the change out that I had in the ashtray and my pocket, handed it over and smiled. The man said thank you, told me how beautiful my children were, said god bless you and walked away.

I drove off feeling mad at myself for being so whiny and ungrateful for what I do have. Beautiful children, a home, food, a wonderful man, a car (even if it sucked), life. When I got home and unlocked the door my phone was ringing off the hook. That phone call changed everything in my left for the past three years. It was the call for Brent to head north, to Alaska.

He left for Alaska the Monday after. It was that quick. I was still pregnant. We were still living far away from anybody. I was scared. Sad. Lost.

For 5 years prior Brent treated me (as his mom says like a little princess) doing things I never knew how to or wanted to do. Changing oil, changing tires, taking out the trash, feeding the dog etc etc. I never pumped the gas. He wouldn’t let me. I never worried about maintenance on the vehicle, he did. I didn’t know how to change a tire. I learned that 2 years ago. No joke. I’m 25.

When he took off early that Monday morning, I worried about him filling out his paper work. I did all that for him. I worried about EVERYTHING. I was going to have 3 kids to chase around and keep control of by myself. I from that point was a part-time single parent. I don’t like to use that particular term, but for the most part it is fitting.

I would wait by the phone every night for his phone call. If he worked late and didn’t call me at exactly 9:45 p.m, I was in tears. Today, if he doesn’t call past 9:45, I go to bed. The teary phone calls occur still but not on a daily basis. We still cry when he leaves to go back to work. I cried last night because I just miss him so darn much.

I was asked once how good for our marriage has it been? Well honestly, it’s been great. Every 4-6 weeks I look forward to a 2 week (actually 12 days minus the travel time and sometimes he has shorter or longer time off) vacation. For 2 weeks I get him all to myself. When he hops off that plane, seeing him again is like seeing him for the first time. Butterflies and all. It’s done wonders for us really.

Do I do things on my own now? Yes I do. I learned how to change a tire, check the oil, take out the trash, feed the dogs etc. I learned how to handle 3 kids alone. Of course, I live close to his family now so that helps. But I am no longer worry about the little things. He still does pump the gas for me.

What exactly does he do? He’s a jack of all trades. Right now he is the general foreman. One step below the big boss basically. He’s working his way up and one day may be the big boss. He tells people what to do, does paperwork, cleans up messes etc. He is working for a large company that I shall not name, but it was apparently on the top 100 companies to work for and is a Fortune 500 company. He works for the Energy business is the most I can say. Mining and Energy actually.

Where in Alaska? The arctic circle. At one point he was up near Prudhoe Bay. Now he is near Kotzebue. If you google that, he’s in the middle of nowhere, where it’s FREEZING. He’s brought me home amazing pictures and videos from up there. Of course it’s not exactly what you would think it to be.

Through it all, it has given us a lot of perspective on life. He is nearing 4 years up there. It’s been a long but well worth it 4 years. The sacrifice of him being gone has paid off a little. There are still times when we both question it. I have my days where I want to run to the store without 3 kids. But I’ve learned how to do things differently. I still leave things for him to do while he is home. I miss him each moment he is gone. We have teary phone calls, teary Voice Calls on msn etc. I send him packages as much as possible. We try to make it as easy as possible.

But I can’t help but look forward to those 2 weeks each time. He gets longer off for Christmas. I look forward to that. I look forward to the month he will be taking off next year. The kids always are very excited.

And still, no matter what, he is my best friend.

Comments

  1. What a beautiful post for your hubby. I had no idea that this even occurs in your life. Have you ever gone to Alaska with him? Does he own an apartment there? Will you ever move there? What has made you not move there as of yet? Sorry, with all the questions I am just really intrigued.

  2. *~Brandi~* says:

    Britt this made me tear up your a strong wonderful woman and I love you so much. Wow you guys have been threw a lot I miss you lots B