Yesterday was Military Spouse Appreciation Day and I had the best intentions of finishing this post then. However, my kids had other plans! (And I'm still spinning.)
But it doesn't have to be May 7th for me to reflect on life as a military spouse. What started out as my husband's job has become our way of life, and so much more than just a career. It's a difficult life sometimes, being married to someone in the military, but it has taught me some of the most valuable lessons and given me some of the most amazing experiences. I feel a sense of camaraderie with other wives who are living this same experience right now, and those who have come before us.
Being a military spouse means embracing the unknown. We learn to expect the unexpected.
We give up the familiarity of home and family and go where the military leads us. We learn to make every new place feel like home.
We are independent. We are tough. We are strong.
We can fix a leaky toilet or change a flat tire. We can mow the lawn and even mow the neighbor's lawn too.
We understand the deeper meaning behind the military uniform and feel the pride that washes over us when we see our spouse put it on each day.
Our nation's flag becomes a tangible symbol of the sacrifices our great military has made throughout history.
We learn to walk in heels with poise and learn more about etiquette than we ever thought possible.
We can sit down with a group of total strangers, find another military spouse, and instantly have something in common.
We deal with the inevitable separations that come with military life.
We tell our children to be brave when they see their Daddy leaving. We cry with them.
We realize that we are stronger than we ever thought we could be. We carry on when we are overwhelmed, lonely, and exhausted.
We feel inspired and encouraged when we share with each other. We learn from those with more experience and we depend on the sound advice of other military spouses.
And we do it all out of love for our soldier, airmen, sailor or marine.
To my fellow military spouses, thank you. (You know who you are!) Thank you for your sacrifices, your wisdom, and your courage. Thanks for making me laugh when I want to cry. Thanks for your friendship. None of us are in this alone! Thanks for helping me find my way in this crazy life.