My husband was in the Army for 20 years and I have been by his side for the last 17+ years of it. I’ve spent a lot of time waiting — waiting for him to pack his bags, for him to leave, for him to call, for him to e-mail, for him to come home, but the one thing I was waiting for the most was for him to be done with the Army finally.
Too many times I sat in my car in front of “the company” and waited for him to be done for the day. I’ve learned that “I’ll be done soon” meant I would be waiting at least 30 minutes, but most likely considerably more. Sometimes I would read, knit, or check my phone over and over again. Other times I would people watch, meaning I would watch the guys leave the building and hurry to their cars. Some of them would nod at me, others didn’t even notice me, and again others would stop and ask if they should return and go get my husband for me. I always declined as I was told, “mission first” and I kept waiting.
Then the day of retirement came and went and I thought E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G would be different now. However, things haven’t changed quite as much as I was imagining (it never works out that way now, does it?).
My husband was accepted to Physician’s Assistant school even before he officially retired from the Army and since then I am waiting all over again. Granted, I can call or text him and most of the time get an answer (a nice perk being a civilian), but the waiting hasn’t changed. If I didn’t love him, I would’ve probably run away a long time ago, but (!!) I’m still here.
What am I trying to tell you – ahem… myself– I’m trying to tell myself, that through all this time I have learned incredible discipline and patience. Probably more than I have ever wanted to learn, but moreover I am teaching my children that if you love someone you are there for him or her, you support him or her, you are his or her rock he or she can count on.
I want to be a solid rock. I am his rock. I am loyal to the core (I hope to pass on this virtue to my children).
So as I’m waiting again (this time he’s stuck in surgery on his trauma surgery rotation because a young girl tried to end her life early and purposely hit a 18-wheeler head on), I will stop and pat myself on the shoulder and just acknowledge that my now civilian family is no different from any other family in this world (military or civilian). Somewhere, somehow, we are all waiting at some point for one another.
And why is that you think?
Love. A little four letter word that means so much more. For “whoever lives in love lives in God and God in them” (1 John 4:16). We can know and rely on that.
And THAT my friends, is what makes waiting all worthwhile.