So, I am a Navy wife. There are a lot of stigmas that go along with that - bitter, lonely, tough, independent, complainer, long suffering, frumpy, pregnant - always pregnant. True, there is probably a little of all of these in each of us. Especially pregnant. We really are a fertile breed. To be honest though, I don't see myself all that different than anyone else. Sure, my husband works really long hours and still speaks in code that even after 5 years of marriage I still don't understand. He's been deployed for months at a time and is gearing up to leave again just in time to miss the birth of our son - again. When he leaves for work, I still wait for that phone call to make sure he did indeed make it safely back on the ground again before I rest too easy. But I am proud of him and proud to be his wife. Plus he is damn adorable in his uniform.
Alot of friends and strangers have asked me how I cope and tell me they could never handle living like we do. I just have to say, I couldn't live any other way because that would mean a life without my husband, and THAT I could not handle. He's the greatest guy in the world and worth even the moments without him here.
Admittedly we have had a pretty cushy life as a Navy family. We have lived in our hometown for almost 4 years and will be staying for another 3. We don't have to spend thousands of dollars to fly our brood home from Christmas, or hundreds on phone calls home to family. We have never paid for a babysitter and even get to go away for the weekend without the kids occasionally. Dan has only been on one long deployment so far and has stayed away from danger. We are lucky.
Having said that, I woke up this morning bitter because I know the time is coming soon for Dan to leave again. And I guess I just wanted to remind myself of how good I have it. With that said I found the following article online today and decided to share it:
I, __________, a proud and courageous military wife (who, by the way, knew what she was getting into when she got married but still reserves the right to complain every now and then), make the following resolutions for the coming year:
I will be more understanding of "Cross Countries"/weekend duty/night flights, and other various unexpected duties, and in doing so, I promise to refrain from ever again putting my hand on my hip and yelling, "You've got to be kidding me," when my husband calls to say he won't be home before midnight.
I will stop buying everything I see with an airplane/ship/sailor/soldier theme. And just in case my mother-in-law doesn't make the same resolution, I will no longer sell on eBay the airplane/ship/sailor/soldier-themed items she sends to us.
Speaking of eBay, I will stop whiling away countless hours searching for memorabilia with my husband's class year, squadron/unit number, or other insignia on it to add to his growing I-Love-Me room. Instead, I resolve to frame and display some of my own degrees/needlepoint/artwork.
I will spend less time deodorizing my husband's flight suit/uniform and more time getting rid of all his old college T-shirts with holes in the armpit.
I will persuade my husband to stop showing our guests piles of photographs from Pompeii, Rome and Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, I will encourage him to take more pictures of people, and less of sand and monuments, during his next deployment.
I resolve to keep in mind that when my husband tells me he flew "the longest flight ever" and that his stateroom onboard the ship was "at least 110 degrees," he is probably exaggerating and I shouldn't worry.
I will not sell my husband's baseball cards, model airplanes, matchbox cars or Sports Illustrateds out of spite while he is away on a detachment or deployment. But I make no promises if he accidentally leaves any of his "bachelor furniture" unattended.
But the number one thing I resolve to do in 2006 is to remember how grateful I am to have my husband home this year. I will be mindful of all the spouses who are missing loved ones and wishing them home for even just one day (week, month, year) to see pictures of sand and monuments and hear all the tall tales.
I will remember that even though my husband's I-Love-Me room is spilling out into the family's neutral living room zone, all his plaques and nick-knacks represent years of sacrifice, hard work and friendships - for both of us.