Life, Memorials, Motherhood, Uncategorized

To Those Who Wait

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I’m losing another friend.

Not ‘forever’ lost—not to anger or angst or illness. And really, this goodbye isn’t about me, though I am sad about it. No, it’s that time in friendship when the orders come in, and the people I’ve just started to really come to know are sent off, to serve their country in another place.

To clarify, my friend isn’t in the military; her husband is.

It takes one type of courage to leave family and friends, to serve at risk of physical danger and under mental stress.

It takes another to be left behind. To wait. To raise the children. To carry on as if life is normal even when you don’t know where your other half is, or what he’s doing, if he’s safe, if he’s well. (Substitute “she” for the military husbands out there.)

I’ve had the privilege to have a number of military and ex-military wives in my circle of friends, and their resilience put me to shame. Many of them are spouses of submariners—with their husbands in the ‘silent service’ communication is limited in a way I’ve never experienced. Many times I’ve heard a friend given a month when her husband would be home…then it moves back a month…then they’re home but he’ll need to be on the boat for this, that or the other thing. Many times I’ve been pulled aside before class to be told in a hushed voice, “Their dad’s been deployed again. Just so you know in case they’re having a hard time.”

Today I just want to take a moment to acknowledge the patience and perseverance of the military spouse, their struggles and adaptability as they wait to hear where they’ll be stationed—oh, Hawaii? No, I guess we’re going to Guam now. Oh…well, this week it’s Groton…

Today is Military Spouse Appreciation Day. Sometimes it’s hard to know just how to thank these people for their quiet service—especially since a lot of the ladies I know don’t like to be thanked. “We aren’t the ones who served,” my friends have grumbled.

Perhaps not, not in the same way. Still, to those who faithfully wait, know that you aren’t forgotten. Know that you’re in our prayers too.

15 thoughts on “To Those Who Wait”

  1. The loved ones we leave behind serve America, as well. They deserve more recognition than they are getting. Thank you for taking the time to reflect on these brave Americans. May God rest his steady hand upon their shoulders, always.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was beautifully written.

    Some days I miss the alone time with the kids, then he leaves for a couple weeks and I long for him to be home. I have become spoiled as a civilian wife. BUT knowing he will someday go back to a month or longer business trips, I have to keep the military wife in me alive and well so I don’t crumble when it starts happening again (and his boss loves me for the willingness to let him leave his family for long periods of time or leave at the drop of a hat).

    The military trained me to be strong and independent and have a hard shell in tough times. It made me more stubborn, resilient, and taught me how to ask for help when I actually needed it and be okay even if the help didn’t come. Doctors apologize a lot for the “hurry up and wait” but it is common practice in my life to have to wait for long periods of time. It has trained me for life with an autistic son…whom we have to “hurry up and wait” for everything, including extra benefits to help in treatment and supplies.

    BUT that being said, I still don’t feel I’ve served my country and don’t deserve thanks for anything I did. I was just a wife supporting her husband in his career choice, taking care of my family, just like any other wife and husband should do for each other. That’s what marriage is, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Stevie, and thank you for sharing your reflections on the whole experience.
      And that’s what a marriage SHOULD be, no doubt. But I still think you’re a pretty amazing lady xxxxx

      Like

  3. Thank you for honoring those who stay at the home front and wait and take care of everything. Your post reminds me of a movie based on a real life story: Military wives banding together for mutual support in a UK base and started a military wives choir, and had since become a movement to other parts of the world. The movie is called just that: Military Wives. I’ve a Ripple Review in case any of your readers are interested in more details.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Having a son serving in the military (it’s Coast Guard now, but it was the Marines) I’ve seen up close the responsibility that military spouses have to face. The very best to them… –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Anne – we so often forget how people live and cope, even in organisations we think we know – well done for highlighting ‘those who wait’ … with care for them all – Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Hilary- I hope you’re doing well!
      I’d honestly not given it much thought until living in a community with so many military families- that lifestyle was just no part of my day-to-day. I’ve met some pretty tremendous ladies- all much tougher than me 😊 – always glad to give them a nod and help out where we can!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. An important reminder to us all, to remember and consider the dedication not just of those in the miltary but the family members who wait for them, who move with them, who struggle through the loneliness and worry. I doubt I’d have the strength of character to manage it myself.

    Liked by 1 person

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