Here’s to You

Here’s to you Military Wife.

Here’s to the woman who watches her husband get on that bus. The woman who sits by a computer or stares at a phone for hours on end, waiting for that one message that says “I’m ok.” The woman who holds back tears every time the internet crashes and she loses him for another day. The woman who wishes for one more call, one more word, one more letter just to keep going.

Here’s to the woman who warms her own bed, dries her own tears, and holds together her own house. The woman who makes too much food because she isn’t good at portioning to eat alone. The woman who eats in front of a computer screen or a television, just so there will be noise to keep her company. The woman who mails box after box, just so he knows that she thought about him.

Here’s to the woman who cuddles her babies (Furry or otherwise) to make them feel better when they can’t understand. The woman who gets up in the morning, even though all she wants to do is lay in bed. The woman who cleans up the messes and fixes the problems that inevitably show up as soon as he walks out the door.

Here’s to the woman who fills the void with projects. The woman who travels until she can’t walk, exercises until her body burns, works until she can’t think straight, or makes art until her hands are blistered or covered in muck. The woman’s whose only motivation is that one face that she can’t see.

Here’s to the woman who turns to her family. The woman who calls her mom every day just so she hears her voice other than when it’s lecturing the dog. The woman who attends gatherings and holiday parties alone, when everyone else gets to be with their spouse or significant other. The woman who tries so hard not to let it bother her that she wonders whether or not it would have been better to spend the time alone.

Here’s to the woman who fights her demons alone. The woman who hides the insomnia or nightmares behind coffee, and the depression behind a few more carbs than she needs. The woman who sleeps in the living room because sometimes the bed is just too big, or reads until the wee hours of the morning just to occupy her mind. The woman who can get herself so paranoid that she sleeps with a baseball bat in her bed. The woman who reaches out until she has literally fallen apart, then stands up and starts to put herself back together, because her other half isn’t there to help her.

Here’s to the woman who has to learn to endure. The woman who crossed an ocean to be with him, and stays just because this was where he left her. The woman who feels alone even when surrounded by people, because she knows that none of the people around her really care that much what happens to her. The woman who makes plans and lets people drop them, just so she can say she is trying to make it work in a place where she just doesn’t quite seem to fit.

Here’s to the woman who waits. The woman who watches husband after husband come home, watches the joy spread through a community, and tries not to drown in self-pity. The woman who puts on the brave face, who smiles and is happy for them, when the anger in her chest boils up, and she would give anything in the world to be one of them.

Here’s to you Military Wife. I understand. I have done every single one of these things, and I have matched you tear for tear. I have felt every gut-wrenching worry. I have prayed every silent prayer. I have felt every sigh of relief when that message finally comes. I know what it feels like when someone who doesn’t really understand what you are going through tries to offer help, and only makes it worse. I understand how much the wrongly chosen words can hurt. I have felt every stab of anguish when ANOTHER picture of someone else’s homecoming turns up in your Facebook feed. I understand. I understand because I feel it all right now.

I’m not going to tell you to keep your chin up. I already know that you can do it.  You’re strong. You have to be if you married the military. I’m just saying that I understand. And even though you feel alone, you aren’t. I’m right here, feeling it all with you.

Cheers,

BG

 

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Looking to the Past

Hello All,

This past week I embarked on a project. The best part is that really it was completely by accident. Really though…. aren’t those the best kind of projects? I will put it simply: I discovered Ancestory.com. Now that sounds silly, because it has been around forever. However, this was my first experience with it.

It started off with a random thought. Green Lantern and I started to plan our big trips for the year. I was insistent that I wanted to go to Edinburgh, because I had heard such wonderful things about it. Besides that, I also heard it was the most haunted city in the world, which sounded fun. He agreed, and reminded me that he had Scottish in his family. This sparked a train of thought for me. Here we were, living in Europe, and didn’t really know anything about where we came from. I knew that I had German in my family; For all I knew, I could be living down the street from where my ancestors came from. I mean, I knew that my Great Grandpa, who died in World War II was buried in France, and we had made plans to go out that way to see, but what else could we be seeing?

I stewed on this for a while. Another mutual friend of ours suggested Ancestory.com, and talked about the success she had gotten from it. I decided to give it a shot. However, I discovered quickly that until you actually sign up, you can’t get anywhere. I decided to give it some thought. I got my momma Phoenix on the phone, and she encouraged me to give it a try. I signed up for the two-week free trial, and set to work with what I knew myself, and what she could tell me.

Now before you start thinking that I am just losing my mind waiting for my Lantern to come home, I swear it isn’t true. I would be lying if I said I didn’t consider the possibility that it would make time pass faster, but I truly did it because I wanted to know about what our family, together, is made of. It just turned out lucky for me that it took as much time as it did. 🙂

This presented an interesting dichotomy. On one hand, the site is easy to use, and is helpful to build your family tree back generation after generation. It shows you real documentation, pictures, personal stories, and links to websites you might find helpful. It gives you hints to try to find different people you might have missed. On the other hand, it is almost like taking on a full-time job. I spent hours pouring over census documents, lining up personal timelines, and trying to decipher the handwriting of people long since dead.  I looked at gravesite and stones. I peered at pictures of my family; pictures of people who I had no idea were even part of my family. Best of all, I got specifics. It wasn’t just names and birth-dates and death-dates, though in the midst sometimes it felt like that. I found the name of the ship that carried my ancestors to America. Not only am I German on one side, but that German is mixed with a little French and a little Swiss. I found out I also had Scottish and Irish on my mother’s side, along with the Norwegian and English I always knew we had. I could tell Green Lantern the exact unit that his relatives served in during the Revolutionary War. I could even tell him the tartans of his Scottish Clan, which he is planning on getting a kilt made in.

I have always been a history buff, but this gave me a new appreciation. My mother was so happy with everything I had been finding; so interested in where our family came from. Green Lantern was impressed with everything I had managed to find. I was happy. I love knowing where I came from, and added a bunch of things to my list of places to see before we leave Europe. Actually, I even added a couple of places to see once he and I head back to the states. It breathes life into the concept that we are truly blessed. We have been given opportunities that are not available to just anyone because of the military, and I think it would be silly to waste it. After all, they may take my Lantern from me occasionally, but we have to make the most of the time we do have.

Cheers until Next Time,

BG