Parenting & Other Life Stories


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The winds whispered with unknown change. How was I to know that soon we were to be caught in its currents like a couple of fall leaves torn apart to follow individual columns of moving air and maybe land together when the winds released their hold.

I had gone to the mailbox that day unexpectant, but when I opened the box and saw the

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8.5 by 11 inch brown envelop a wave of excitement followed. The envelop was heavy in my hand on the walk home and afterwards each time I lifted my black inked pen to detail another response the pen felt foreign in my hand. My letters all in upper case looked strange and childlike on the page. Was I really doing this?

I worked diligently at completing all the answers, my life reduced to a bunch of written words and statements scrolled on a pile of papers. It seemed unrealistic. Standing looking down at the package that detailed “me” from my beginning until the second my pen released no more answers seemed sad.

The period of time that followed passed like a lazy breeze on a day of heat and humidity, the kind of breeze you beg to come faster, stronger, and without pause. Instead the only tornado was inside me as I waited day after day for one call or another. I felt sure that the violently rotating winds inside me were bound to consume me.

It took 14 months for the phone to ring.

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There were so many discussions about where we hoped to live at the end of it all. Was this what we really wanted to do? Could we live apart for six months? Were we ready to leave friends and family behind? Could I survive the rigors of training? How do we deal with the unfinished aspects of our current life?

In a flurry we canceled our traditional wedding losing all our hard saved deposit money. Encouraged by the sudden gusts of wind we boarded a plane 3 months later to say “hago” on the beaches of the Dominican Republic. It was 8 months after that that the phone rang calling one half of the newly-wed couple to live in a dorm of women as a member of a troop of 32 men and women striving to reach the same goal.

Pearson airport never seemed as large as it did that day. Alone and racing toward the unknown I boarded a plane. I left my new husband in an eddy of 6 month preparation for an uncertain outcome. I was riding an air current that I hoped would deposit me as a member of Canada’s Police Force when the storm winds ended.

By Shari Marshall – 2019

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2 thoughts on “Whirlwind

  1. I can sense through to your stomach churning.
    I also hope for a part 2 because such an effort surely resulted in more memories worthy of note. I’d also love to hear how your thoughts matured to applying in the first place. Perhaps a significant relative inspired her. Maybe a significant event put this vision in her cross-hairs. Clearly, she was not looking for a path of least resistance through life.
    For us commoners, this is such a huge undertaking.
    Well done lady!
    Question: does “thanks” from the lower 48 have any value?

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