Sunday, May 5, 2013

Military Wives

Tonight Micah comes home after being gone for almost three weeks. Every year during April and May, he has a bunch of annual trips - both for fun and for work - and this year he has been gone for the past 18 days with a random night home here and there before we wake up early the next day so I can take him the airport to catch a flight for his next trip.

But tonight he's home for good and I'm so excited.

A long time ago my sister and I had a discussion in which we decided we would make good military wives, because we are super independent and could handle deployment better than many women probably could {I know... these are big claims from two people who have ZERO experience with military life}. But our consensus was... we could pull off the solo lifestyle with relative ease.

But now I've changed my mind about my confidence in being a military wife... or any kind of wife whose husband has to be gone often or for extended periods of time. Because there's something funny about marriage. On one level, marriage is about two becoming one... both in physical intimacy and in meshing two lives that were separate into one life and one family. Micah and I found the meshing to be one of the hardest parts of getting married... we had to figure out how to share a closet, organize our kitchen and split the chores. We also had to combine bank accounts, which took us almost 18 months to completely figure out.

But on another level, marriage is about one becoming two. Marriage means surrendering a lot of self-focus in order to love and care for and accommodate someone else's preferences and desires and schedule. Marriage means that instead of eating what you want for dinner, you plan a menu around someone else's likes and dislikes. And when you go on vacation, you might go to places never expected simply to fulfill the  travel dreams of your spouse. And sometimes it means picking up dirty clothes off the floor that are not your own when your partner is having a busy and stressful week and can't contribute a lot to household responsibilities.

And after three weeks of making dinner for myself {aka eating Lean Pockets and picking up Thai food to go}, and picking up only after myself, and never making the bed that I crawled into alone every night,  I can honestly say I miss the 1 become 2 part of marriage. I like planning my days around two people with two distinct personalities and two sets of gifts, weaknesses, and quirks.

The 1 become 2 part of marriage can be exasperating at times, but it is so very good, and it stretches me in so many ways that make me a better person.


And so today, on a day where we are supposed to rave about a fellow blogger, I want to give a huge shout-out to Elise. I can't even say Elise and I are "blog friends." I've left a comment on her blog two or three times. We don't chat on Twitter and we've never exchanged an email, things I do regularly with all my closest blog pals. But I have been following her blog for the past year, and I just want to encourage her. Elise is expecting her first baby next month, while her husband is far away, deployed overseas until the fall. Thankfully, he gets to come home for 10 days around their daughter's birth {although he will probably miss the actual delivery}, but then he will be gone again and miss the first few months of parenting with his wife, watching their baby grow. I should also mention that since he left in February, Elise has moved cities, bought a house for her growing family and set up a beautiful home for the three of them to enjoy together when they are finally reunited. She faces each day with bravery and joy, despite the fact that she misses her husband terribly.


All photos stolen {with permission} from Elise's blog...

So to Elise and all you other ladies out there who are facing or have faced deployment, I just want to say thank you. I am so thankful for our military, and so thankful for the strong wives who can hold down the fort at home with such courage and grace.


Erika @ rouge + whimsy said...

ooh new-to-me blog. :)

C.Curley said...

I would be a TERRIBLE military wife! I somehow lose the ability to even care for myself when I don't have to plan around my husband! I just eat sushi or cereal for dinner and watch too much TV. I totally get what you're saying about 1 become 2.

Stephanie said...

When I saw that first picture of Elise, my immediate thought was OHHHHMYYYY Jen cut her hair!! :) Happy (Early) Mother's Day to you, friend!

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