The Military Wife Recipe

Whoooaaa, Nelly! I just found this one in my “Drafts” from over four years ago! It mentions Monkey learning to walk which was February, 2012! Yikes! Still totally relevant today and actually related to my previous post. So you lucky readers get two blogs today! Giddyup and you’re welcome.
🙂 Mel

I recently had a conversation with a good friend here in Smalltown. She had been talking to someone about being a military wife and the someone was likening the life of an Oil family to the life of a Military family. Her main point of comparison was that in both families the “worker” (we’re going to generalize here and say “husband” but I am fully aware that in many families it is the wife that is the “worker”. I’m just referring to “husband” because that is my own experience) is away a lot. She was also trying to say that both jobs are equally dangerous because her husband could fall in while working in the fields.

 

My friend was frustrated with this conversation. While she fully appreciates the life of this oil family, we agreed that they are not the same. Not at all. I respect the lifestyle of an oil family and sure, our husbands are both away a lot so this woman can appreciate what it’s like to do the single mom thing while the husband is away working.

The similarity pretty much ends there, in my opinion.

To equate our lives to any other lifestyle in which one partner is away a lot is not fair. Just because we are similar in one way does not mean we are the same in all others. I am going to use the term “we” here, because it was my friend and I that had this conversation so it is to her and I that I am referring, however I feel that it is a safe bet to say that “we” is a fair generalization for all military wives.

Here is the Military Wife Recipe:

Start with one part absence. Our husbands go away. A lot. Sometimes they haven’t even left town but are “in the field” and just can’t come home for many nights or weeks. Sometimes they’re in the same country. Other times they’re at least on the same continent and other times they’re on the other side of the world. Sometimes, if we’re lucky, we get to talk to them every day or even Skype or FaceTime. Other times we go days or weeks without hearing from them. Our husbands are our partners, our best friends, the men to whom we are used to talking every day at length about every detail of our day, every thought in our head. When they’re gone, no matter where they are, we have x amount of time to cram all these thoughts, all these details, into a few minutes. And to be honest, they aren’t always able to give us their full attention because someone is at their door or the bed across the aisle. The blackberry is going off or they have to reply to an email or they just can’t stop thinking about the mission in which they are currently involved.

Then, take that absence and mix it with some worry. Use a dash or a handful depending on the circumstance. We worry that they’ll miss important life events. Monkey took his first steps this week and Hubby isn’t in the country. Our first child will never take his first steps ever again and Hubby wasn’t here to see it. We worry that we won’t get to talk to them that day. We worry that they won’t be home when they say they will or that as soon as they get home they’ll have to leave for somewhere else. And, in the worst of times, we worry they won’t come home alive. Not because of an accident, not because they fell in a well in the oil field, but because they ran over an Improvised Explosive Device or someone, the “enemy” shot them.

Now add pride, as much as will fit in the bowl. We are fiercely proud of our husbands. Oh sure, we complain when they’re gone. But we are entitled to do so and no matter how much we complain it doesn’t take away from the way our hearts swell when we look at our husbands in uniform or when someone asks us what our husband does and we can say, “He’s in the military”. I know many wives are proud of their husbands. My best friend’s husband is a paramedic and I know she is extremely proud of him. But seriously. We are SO proud. (And also, there’s nothing wrong with a man in uniform if you know what I mean!)

So basically, take all of these ingredients and mix them together and you’ve got your basic Military Wife. The seasoning will be a little different depending on the quantities of each ingredient and whether or not the wife chooses to rise to the occasion or cave in a little.

People often tell me, “How do you do it?!” to which I respond, “Not always very well”. See the thing is, you have to use the very finest ingredients. These women, the ones I see and talk to and spend time with every day, are the strongest, most courageous, most resilient women I know. We must have been made with a little extra spice.

Take care,
Spicy Mel

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