I recently read an excerpt from a military wife that spoke to me. I wrote a post last week detailing the difficulties I've been having with the hellos and good byes of moving so frequently. Many people were very supportive, but I felt that some people just didn't quite understand. I felt that they thought I would being "cocky" to say that I felt my challenges were unique to me.
I don't feel that way at all. Especially because I am most likely not a "lifer", I do not feel any extreme attachment to military life or being a military wife. I most likely won't be a military wife in the near future.
But I will still feel like what they do is hard. It is special. It is unique.
I do think that being a military wife is different. That doesn't mean there aren't civilian wives who feel the way that I do or deal with the same things. That isn't to say that being a missionary wife isn't harder. It very well may be.
It just means that, in general, I think being in the military has a set of challenges that are unique to that life and difficult in their own ways.
This woman was responding to a man who had written on a military page: “I am a soldier and I have to say I don’t know why everyone acts like being a military wife is special. You are just a wife.”
Here is what she wrote. I nearly teared up many times reading this.
"Maybe you’re right. Maybe I am just a wife. I do clean the house and mop the floors but can’t promise that these will be the same floors I’ll be cleaning next year, next season or even two months from now. I grocery shop but I may do it in silence because I haven’t lived here long enough to run into people I know. If I do see a friend in the cereal aisle, that probably means we’ll be PCSing soon. Just like any other wife, I tend to the garden and water the flowers. No matter how hard I try though, I cannot plant roots. Like any wife, I buy furniture for my house but I pick the sturdy, solid pieces over the irreplaceable antiques. I need something that will last through being packed up and shipped off again and again and again. Just like any wife, I know how I want my home decorated but getting that pie safe and wooden bench would bring us too close to our weight limit. Just like any other wife, I have a group of friends who I can count on. I know that in one year’s time, we’ll all be scattered around the world and I’ll once again begin the great challenge of being loved and lonely at the same time. I worry about my children choosing the right friends and when they do, I pray that they form life-long friendships even though we have to move every few years."
The parts in bold really spoke to me. They really said how I felt.
My friend Tara left a comment on that page that really explained my concerns for my children. She was not a military child exactly, but her parents were involved in government work that required them to move a lot. Tara wrote:
"While we were not "military," I lived the live of a foreign-service brat. Moving every 3 years while growing up was incredibly tough, and tough at the time for a late elementary school child and middle schooler. I have to admit that, at times, I hated the life that my parents chose for me. I've also moved every 3-4 years since, albeit not for military reasons. I am definitely introverted and have always been a bit cautious about new friendships, but know that you hold onto the really good people from wherever you are in life. No matter how/why you are moving, it's tough, but it really is something you, and your kids, will appreciate much, much later."
I totally agree Tara. I think that this life does offer a lot. I'm glad to have this experience and this opportunity. But that doesn't mean that it is easy. It also doesn't mean that I may feel able to do it for the long haul.