R-L-P. These three letters have crossed my mind a thousand times in the past two weeks, leaving me completely unhinged each and every time. RLP stands for Room, Locker, Personnel and it is a thorough inspection that every Officer Candidate must pass in order to move on to Phase Two of OCS. Should you fail the inspection, you roll back and start all over.
Jake has been gone for eleven days now, and I feel as if I’ve been chopped in half, living each hour in a perfunctory haze. When I hear steps on the stairs outside our apartment I still think it’s Jake home from work, I continue to bring back leftovers thinking “Jake will eat this,” and when I spot his Mustang in parking lots I forget myself for a moment and my heart leaps at the thought that he drove there to surprise me, when in reality it was only me that parked it there. When I’m missing him the most, I try to channel that energy into praying for him, which helps.
My husband swore in today. We drove through unusually heavy rain to the naval recruiting office in Orange this morning, where I met the recruiter and processor that have been so crucial and helpful through the process. For the first time, it felt real that Jake is doing this, that our lives will be so tied with the Navy.
The vintage posters around the office— one including a 40’s pin-up sailor girl saying “You-hoo! Join the Navy!”— were almost charming enough to make Francie and I enlist….almost.