Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tenacity of Military Wives

Bob bought a car the day before he left for this deployment. That left me with a small pile of paperwork and a big headache. It's parked in a "guest" spot outside of our building...basically a spot that's not reserved for residents. I've been pretty good about starting it up, but with not feeling so hot over the last three weeks I haven't started it.

After getting home from the lab for blood work (seven vials, ouch!) and physical therapy for my neck, I came home and thought it'd be a good idea to start his car. (Thanks to Julie for watching the girls for me!) Well no luck, the thing wouldn't turn over. Now I've never used jumper cables before, but I have seen them used before. So my new neighbor, Jen (her husband is gone too), and I gave it a go. Before I go on, you have to know how Jen and I met. I knocked on her door a week or so after she moved in and said, "Hi, I'm your neighbor, can you help me move my tv?" We hit it off and immediately sat down on the couch, chatted, drank the mango iced tea I brought from Hawaii, and we moved the tv so it was centered on the wall.

Don't laugh at what you're about to read, and don't roll your eyes either. I asked her if there would be instructions in the bag with them, and she insisted there must be. Well nope, no luck. So we winged it, and hoped for the best. Jen and I were looking at each other and laughing. Me behind the wheel of my car, she behind Bob's. I was keeping my fingers crossed that it would start, because the last thing I wanted to deal with was buying a new car battery. After letting my car run for a few minutes and revving the engine, his car finally turned over. She stayed in the front yard with our kids, her three and my two. We're in different buildings, each in an end unit, but our side yards touch. So I took his car around the block to let it charge up, parked it, cut the engine and then restarted it to make sure it'd run.

What is a MILITARY WIFE? They may look different and each is wonderfully unique, but this they have in common:

-Lots of moving
-Moving some more
-Moving even more
-Moving far from her hometown
-Moving two cars, three kids and one dog----all riding with HER of course
-Moving sofas to basements because they won't go in THIS house
-Moving curtains that won't fit
-Moving jobs and certifications and professional development hours
-Moving away from friends, moving toward new friends
-Moving her most important luggage; her trunk full of memories
-Often waiting-Waiting, waiting, waiting for housing; waiting for orders; waiting
for deployment; waiting for reunion; waiting for the precious 5 or 10 minute phone call; waiting for that 3 sentence email; waiting for the new curtains to arrive; waiting for him to come home for dinner----AGAIN!
-They call her 'military dependent,' but she knows better
-She can balance a checkbook
-Handle the yard work
-Fix a noisy or overflowing toilet
-She is intimately familiar with drywall, anchors, and toggle bolts
-She can file the taxes, sell a house, buy a car, or set up a move, and all with one Power of Attorney
-She welcomes neighbors that don't welcome her
-Reinvents her career with every PCS; locates a house in the desert, the arctic, or the deep south and learns to call them all 'home’
-She MAKES them all home
-She is fiercely IN-dependent
-Military wives are somewhat hasty
-They leap into decorating, leadership, volunteering, career alternatives, churches and friendships
-They don't have 15 years to get to know people, often just two or three
-Their roots are short but flexible
-They plant annuals for themselves and perennials for those who come after them
-Military wives quickly learn to value each other
-They connect over coffee, rely on the spouse-network, accept offers of friendship and favors and record addresses in pencil
-Military wives have a common bond
-The military wife has a husband unlike other husbands his commitment is unique. He doesn't have a job, he has a 'mission' he can't just decide to quit he's on-call for his country 24/7 but for you, he's the most unreliable guy in town!
-His language is foreign: TDY, PCS, OPR, LDO, PSD, ACC, BDU, TAD and EDO
-A military wife is a translator for her family and his. She is the long-distance link to keep them informed the glue that holds them together

Military Wife has her moments----
-She wants to wring his neck, dye his uniform pink, and refuse to move to Siberia, but she pulls herself together.
-Give her a few days, a travel brochure, a long hot bath, a pledge to the flag, and a wedding picture. And she goes. She packs. She moves. She follows.

Why? What for? How come? You may think it is because she has lost her mind. But actually it is because she has lost her heart. It was stolen from her by a man, a man who puts duty first and country first, longs to deploy, who salutes the flag, and whose boots in the doorway remind her that as long as he is her military husband, and she will remain his Military Wife.


Andrew-Josiah said...

I love your list of military wives stuff. MY sister is getting married Aug 15 so I am going to use some of those during my toast! Thank you!

Shari said...

I love this. You are doing a great job girl!

Aloha! said...

That's awesome Katie!!!!

Ethan & Alisa said...

I stumbled apon your blog Via CFAY moms :). I love it! I have to add, i LOVE the Military Wives post you made... and was wondering if i can use parts (or all) on my Blog. Of course i will link your Blog... and give you credit.
I just loveeeeeeeeeee the list of things we do for the one we love.
I have been a Mil. Wife for 10+ yrs, and rasied in the military, so i know ALL to well how hard things can be... but what a great payoff it all has.

I also wanted to add, you have 2 beautiful girls! :):)

Taisiya said...

My dad forwarded to me the link to your blog....Great writing! I got to Yokosuka two months ago and still learning my way around...We've been married only for 5 months, so I'm not yet familiar with the life style, but your blog definitely gives me a perspective :) ...