As I drove away from our quaint apartment and waved goodbye to my dear friends, I thought to myself, ‘this is what sacrifice feels like; I finally know the feeling of a “military wife.” I felt pretty satisfied with myself in a weird, self-pity sort of way. Up until this point, being married to an Air Force man had been a piece of cake. I felt like I hadn’t really paid my dues yet.
Go to this function, smile and wave at this boss, love America.
How hard can that be?
It was easy and enjoyable. But then reality hit hard when my adorable, patriotic husband dropped the big M-bomb, the “we’re moving” bomb. If you know anything about the military, you know that moving is a frequent occurrence. We get bounced around like pinballs on this globe. The only issue was; I never thought it would happen to us. I lived in some kind of false reality where Robert was only going to be stationed in Nebraska for the entirety of his career. Who was I kidding right?! But it brought me peace, so I didn’t question it. Looking back, I can see how utterly unhealthy that was. Hindsight is 20/20, I suppose. The day we moved, I was a sobbing mess. I loved our home, our friends, and our bar we went to and ate pretzels every Thursday night. It was comfortable and routine. Who doesn’t love that? As I was crying to myself and listening to every sad country song I could think of, I glanced down at my left hand and saw the reason for this move.
My wedding ring.
I married this man knowing full and well what I was getting myself into. I married him knowing that I was going to be moving around and living alone while he went to goodness knows where on a deployment. I knew all this and still said, “I do.” And you know why? Because the old saying is true:
Home is where the heart is.
That man stole my heart junior year of high school at a nerdy speech meet in Gothenburg, NE. He is where I feel comfortable; he is home, despite what state we are in or what number of move we are on. You become a military wife because you love your husband and you love that he loves America. Did you get all that? Yes, moving was hard and yes I still wake up in the morning in a strange house, with no friends, and no coffee shop down the road that knows my order and I find myself asking,
“Does this get easier?”
“Does each move hurt less?”
“Will I eventually just not care anymore?”
I don’t have all the answers, I really wish I did. If anyone knows of a seasoned military wife that does, please give her my number (or better yet, convince her to write a book about all this) but I do know that watching your husband love his job and feel appreciated, respected, and valued each day makes it worth it.
It makes it all worth it.