Saturday, October 31, 2009

In a heartbeat

By now it should come as no surprise that if it were uncovered at some point that we are part gypsy, no one would decry the accuracy of the testing. Where I come from a lot of people would not marry military, just too much heartbreak or something, who knows. But it was my policy in this endeavor to find the best one, not the most geographically stable. After all, who am I to point a finger?

Every once in a while I get a note from a military spouse who is on the verge of something: These notes, they worry me. Clearly, I am no wizard. Our story, having lived apart nearly the entirety of our marriage, is unlike most, even when it comes to those who serve.

Just as Josh signed on 80 dotted lines, did I. There was perfect clarity for the task. We were together three years before we were married, and six since. Tough spots? Yes, we know something about them. And look, they had nothing to do with the uniform or the never-ending re-lo's. That is my favorite marital cop-out in this racket.

This thing of Josh's is a vocation. Not a career. Not a job. Something one of us must do and so, all for one, you may be thinking.

Not until we had these little girls, actually. Prior to their arrival, our life was conducted via cell phones from all over the world, on aircraft between Boston and Corpus, New York and Florida. Where ever and over there.

But I defy you to show me a conventional marriage: The depth of the thing being far greater than locale even when you have stood right there for fifty years. I have seen people greater than 6,000 miles apart who are standing shoulder to shoulder. It is not just the long haul flights that separate people, there are a million forms of "disconnect".

For now though, all that distance is over. Now we are doing it: Bringing it together for his shore duty. And let me tell you, it is ever different when they get home, when there is another parent here, when it all does not stand or fall on what I was able to accomplish in a day, or my single perspective in making a decision. Sometimes, I hear the words, "yes," or "no" from another room and honestly have a moment where I think someone has broken in. I got used to rolling alone with these girls. It is not harder if it is the only thing you know, remember that.

I had a conversation with another officer's wife yesterday. Her only baby girl was sworn into the Navy the day before on her way to Harvard. Second generation. Her Mama said she swallowed hard but knew by looking at her little girl's face, this was all the child ever dreamed of. Me? I don't know. I might not have stopped her from signing on that line, but if she told me she wanted to work in the garment district, I would look into reprogramming camp.

Now, if you ask my Husband, he might tell you something different, but then, he is the one on the bridge.

Do it over? In a heartbeat, even if you could have held that crystal ball in front of me on the first day.

Atlantic Beach, Florida, October 30, 2009


EntertainingMom said...

do it all? over again? in a heartbeat? Yes, but perhaps differently given the insight I now have!!

LOVELY post!

JMW said...

What a beautiful post. Yes, it is a vocation and I don't think many people see it as such. God bless you and your family - you're in inspiration to all marriages.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Beautiful. He must be gobbling up this time with you and the girls.

LPC said...

Lovely photos, lovely writing. Life is not a simple phenomenon, but if it were, we'd invent complications.

Karena said...

How poignant! Cherish your time together....You are a super woman indeed to handle all of this.

Jo said...

Ah yes, the Navy tried and true! I've worn your shoes and many pairs beyond. I've enjoyed our life ~ the ups, the downs and the in-betweens. I have found no greater pride than in my husband for all the life lessons he has provided. His career has offered challenges that no others would. I’ve enjoyed the joys and obstacles of sea and shore duties.
My son considered the Naval Academy as my husband is a proud graduate. Some of our good friend’s sons are plebs and beyond as I type. It wasn’t the road my son wanted to travel at this time and we respect that and support him {today, tomorrow and always} in his journey through education.

Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m a better person because of this adventure.

Have a Happy Halloween ~

ADG said...

Beautifully real-unvarnished-great-human-humane-pragmatic-flawed-sweet...always so when little girls are part of the mix.



debra said...

Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing. And thanks for visiting my blog.

mespetites said...

I loved reading your post. I graduated from a very liberal Ivy League and no one understood my decision to leave my job in New York City to be a Navy wife. I think the decisions we make that are right for us may not be for everyone but in the end, they are not made for everyone. And lastly, ah Corpus.