Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I remember....

I remember when the Mr. first told me he wanted to join the Army. I was 19, and after he told me I cried. You see, I was dating a goofy theatre kid and I never thought the military would be a plan (I should've...serving in the military goes way back on both sides of his family). I cried because I didn't know what that meant. I cried because I knew at the least we were a country at war and that meant he was going to be deployed.

He had just busted out of his cocoon and is now a beautiful butterfly.

I cried because I was a drama queen. (Seriously. Pulled my Gbig aside to ask her advice and cried at meeting. Drama queen).

Then that Summer he dumped me. I remember sitting in my sorority sister's apartment and watching chick flicks and talking about how he'd be back and he's just a dumb boy.

Then that fall he realized he's really dumb sometimes, and we got back together.

I remember doing pretty horribly on an assignment right after he left for OSUT (basic Training). I remember that professor pulling me aside. He'd never had me in class, but said that it didn't seem like me. I cried to him and told him my boyfriend had just left. He patted me on the shoulder and said his son had left too, but it gets better.  I remember that extension of grace. (And I remember that I was yet again, a drama queen)

Photo from Ciulla Photography

I remember after we got married, that I was so excited in April because he was done with school, I was about to be done with school, and we were going to be able to be done with long distance! (I can hear my veteran spouse friends laughing...). I remember him holding me when he told me that he'd be deploying the following month. 

I remember the joy of buying our house, and getting a puppy.

She's grown just a tiny bit...

I remember crying when the rumors of the next deployment came up.
I remember crying the nights before he left, but not at the parade field...which garnered me criticism. (Seriously).

I remember crying with relief to hold him in my arms again both times.
I remember the blast we've had on marriage retreats, at balls, and at Hail/Farewells. 

I remember falling apart on the drive away from our first base, our first home.
I remember crying on the plane to Germany. 

Why post this? (Other than to illustrate that I'm a pro-level crier/drama queen)

So often as military spouses we tear our fellow spouses down... whether it's that she's crying over him being in the field, or NOT crying during the deployment. That our civilian friends couldn't possibly understand what it's like to live through a deployment, and how stupid they are for thinking that a business trip is in any way equal to one. (For the record, most know it's nothing alike. They're just trying to connect on the premise of missing their person). What if we remembered how it was when we first started out? When that first week of him gone felt like walking through hell? The time we learned to turn off the news when he's gone? 

I have a feeling we'd be much kinder to each other. And in a life like this-where we are often uprooted away from family and friends, and expected to do it all with minimal resources- shouldn't we be more focused on helping one another, instead of laughing at or criticising someone who is just starting out, sad and scared? When will we, as a community, realize that our war stories are very rarely helpful?

I remember...the day I decided to start living in and extending the grace and understanding afforded to me many times over by many people.


Jane said...

This is so beautiful. I was definitely very similar when Daniel and I first got married. I cried all.the.time. All the time. Drama queens unite! This deployment I feel more prepared for it and I honestly just want him to leave already so he can come home.

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