I watched out the window as the mailman pulled up in his mail truck. Mail was important to me. Being married to a military man was fine, but I did miss my siblings, Peggy in particular.
Seeing her handwriting, I grabbed the letter along with the other mail and ran into the house. Ripping it open, I read: "This is going to shock you, but I'm getting a divorce."
I felt like I did when the neighbor accidentally hit a softball into my stomach. I had to know more than those few sentences, so I dialed her number and waited. "It's me," I began.
But before I got those words out, she blurted, "I can't talk now—he's harassing me again!" The 2,000 miles between us seemed like a million.
"I'll pray," I said, hanging up the phone. The day dragged on until 10 p.m. when she called me back.
"Calling the police was easy," she told me. "I wish I would have done it sooner. I called [our brother] Gus and the police, and he left without a problem." Peggy then talked for about 20 minutes, painting a picture of their marriage. Then she said she had to go so she wouldn't run up the phone bill.
I immediately called her back and said, "Now, it's my dime—talk." And she obliged. I tried to remain calm as I listened to one story after another.
"Anne, you know that real estate exam I studied for?" she asked.
"Well I passed, but then he got upset when he saw me talking to a male coworker, so he made me quit.1