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I had heard about you, but I never knew you until now. I must admit when listening to the other wives tell stories about how cruel you were and how long you could last I allowed their stories to shape my perception of you. I HATED you and I didn’t even know you.
I considered myself lucky that in all three years that I had been a military spouse that I had never known you. But I guess my luck ran out. I found out a couple months out that my husband would be leaving to fulfill his duty as a Marine.
At first, I didn’t know how to take it and my mind began to race. What would I do while he was gone? Would our marriage be able to handle all that time apart? Would I get used to him being gone? The questions were endless and I had no answers. But during the last few weeks of him getting ready to leave, something unexpected happened: I had an epiphany. You weren’t an enemy. There was nothing to fear, I didn’t have to feel like my world was falling apart. You could be whatever I made you and I refused to make this experience anything but positive. After all, I had two children who needed me and who trusted me to continue to care for them while their father was away.
So I would like to take this time to apologize for not giving you a chance and allowing my perception of you to be shaped by the experiences of others. I would also like to thank you because somewhere in between finding out that you were in our near future and watching my husband walk away from his family to board a plane, I realized I was stronger than I ever knew and that I could do this. Acting as if I didn’t shed a tear would be wrong because I did cry, but I waited until my husband had boarded because I wanted to give him peace of mind that I could handle our time apart and that I could be strong for our family. Once he was gone I gave myself the rest of that day to pout, to mope, to feel sorry for myself and to experience every other emotion that I could think of that made me cry. I designated that day as my “Cry Day”.
The next day I woke up refreshed and ready to tackle the time ahead of me, they say the best way to pass the time is to stay busy and pick up a couple of hobbies. With that being said, I’ve already circled off some dates for mini road trips, play dates for the kids, different classes they’re offering on base, and “me” time. I can honestly say I’m looking forward to doing things that I wouldn’t have ever done if you hadn’t come along.
I still have a long way to go until you’re finally over and I know this may be the first of many more to come, but already you have taught me so much. And when my husband’s combat boots touch American soil again, I know that will be the happiest day of my life, even better than the day we got married because I will be stronger, wiser and our relationship will be even better than before because we were able to persevere through the time, doubts, and challenges you threw at us.