How do I love thee? Let me count the days…
Every seasoned military spouse you meet can recount three types of days from their years of experience; the good, the bad, and those somewhere in between. The truth is, if you love someone in the military, then you don’t think your life is weird, but you may be tempted to compare your life with non-military friends who live lives that seem “normal.” As we face the unique challenges of this life, we will find negative examples if we search. If we look even closer, it is easy to find the positives. Whether you are a short-term military family or a career one, the days will be many, and in the end, the time will seem short. If you embrace the positives, the days of your life will add up to one amazing number.
There may be days when:
*You will be notified of a last-minute move.
*Your military member will get orders to a different assignment than you expected, to a location you aren’t excited about.
*You may get a call that your military member won’t make it home for dinner, again.
*Your military member has to go TDY tomorrow and your child is in a school play the day after.
*You get 2-weeks’ notice for a deployment.
*You are informed the deployment is being extended by a month.
*It is day 2 of the TDY or deployment and your dog escapes, the washer breaks, the car gets a flat tire, and your suspicion is confirmed that the pets and appliances all know your military member’s travel schedule.
But then one day:
*Your child will explain to a cousin who has never moved how many cool places they have seen.
*You will have a crisis, and your military family will surround you in a way your biological family never could.
*You will see a civilian friend who is extremely upset about a weekend golf outing or a last-minute business trip and you will feel pride that those things just don’t rattle you.
*You will “settle” down in the best place for your family instead of the place that is familiar, because you know home is where you are, not a particular town, county, or state.
*You will be discussing a foreign country and you will be able to speak from first-hand experience, not just from the news, books, or television.
*You will move closer to that one place you always wanted to visit.
*You will be stationed again with friends that you remember and love.
*Your kids will live on a base where they will have more freedom to roam than most kids could ever imagine.
*You will have amazing friends all over the globe.
The challenging days may seem insurmountable as you add to your total, but then, if you look around, you will find the wonderful days can outweigh the bad if you give those days a chance. You have an amazing opportunity that few possess - to love someone in the military. When you get to the end of this journey, you will have had thousands of days, the sum total of which will add up to memories you will cherish forever.
If you have any comments or a story to share, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.