I've got but a moment till I have to run to the grocery store. I apologize for not writing anything exhilarating lately, but perhaps you will be able to relate to my recent topic on home ownership in the military on the My Crazy Amazing Military Life blog.
So, I didn't open that seabag up just yet. However, I did unearth this old box filled to the brim with letters, photos, chevrons, tired looking ribbons and much more. I was excited to see that I had a bag full of letters between my mother and I from boot camp. The words brought me back to a time when I was young, naive and determined to succeed. She didn't want me to go, but I was fervent in my quest.
Though, those weren't the letters that really got me. They were words written by friends from another life, long lost loves and acquaintances. Honestly, I didn't even know I had them. I was a bit speechless happening upon some of them.
Have you found any long lost notes/treasures? Care to share a story that brought you back to a time once forgotten?
Dr. Edward Bailey, of Massachusetts General Hospital, recently reported that:
"Separation from family is stressful under the best of circumstances. Deployment is particularly challenging, due to its dangers, mysterious unpredictability and undetermined length of time away. Every member of a military family faces separation in a unique way. As deployment approaches, pre-separation stress begins and parents and children may exhibit sadness, fear, anger and denial. Anxiety over deployment can lead to sleep problems, depression and feelings of guilt... ...The impact of war and deployment on military families and their medical-care providers is more significant than most citizens realize. It is critical that families who are experiencing either direct or indirect effects of military stressors understand that they are not alone and support is available.
If you or a family member experiences these concerns, seek help from your pediatrician. To learn more about pediatrics in the military, visit www.AAP.org or search "Deployment and Children" online."
It's beckoning me to open it on up. Full of old cammies and blouses and a couple of pairs of boots, I'm sure it smells lovely. Don't get me wrong, it's all 'clean', but it's been collecting dust for sometime now. It used to reside in my parents' attic, but they have since decided it belonged with its owner.
Since I'm nostalgic, I enjoy looking at my old photos, reading letters of bootcamp days and attempting to squeeze into my old uniforms. It's funny because in the past I have used my uniforms as a measure of how in or out of shape I am. If I can fit into them, I am doing pretty good. After I had my second child, I lost an enormous amount of weight and was probably thinner than my post-RT days. One day, I decided to slip on my dress blues, just to check them out. I was elated to find the uniform was loosely fitting my somewhat svelte frame. Now, with baby number three in my arms I'm a little more hesitant to try it on again, but with a little PT, I might just give it a go in a few more months.
Aside from the seabag in my basement, there is a box of memorabilia and letters under my bed. There are pictures too. All of this stuff is more than just stuff. I cherish it. I remember my military days fondly, though they may have been fewer than I liked. I had planned to enjoy at least a 20 year career, but life has a way of changing. You know "God laughs at your plans" and "Fate, blah, blah, blah"--all that jazz. At first, I will say that it was a bit odd switching gears from military to civilian. Though, now that I'm back in the military world as a spouse, I'm back in my element (sort of). I feel like this is where I'm meant to be. I may not wear the uniform any more. I may not march, and I may not travel to far off distant lands, but I wear a rank of a different kind. I tender to the embers of the home fires, I keep the spirit of love in the face of uncertainty, and I proudly standby and support my husband as he serves.
That seabag in my basement reminds me where I started, but it's the family and friends and memories I'm continuing to make that remind me that the military life is multi-faceted. We can serve in more ways than one. So, to all my military spouse friends, if you are ever doubting yourself and question how you ended up in this life, remember you are serving in the honorable silent ranks.
I leave you with this poem that has been shared on many websites for years, but holds true for so many:
The Silent Ranks I wear no uniforms, no blues or army greens. But I am in the military in the ranks of rarely seen. I have no rank upon my shoulders. Salutes I do not give. But the military world is the place where I live. I'm not in the chain of command, orders I do not get. But my husband is the one who does, this I cannot forget. I'm not the one who fires the weapon, who puts my life on the line. But my job is just as tough. I'm the one that's left behind. My husband is a patriot, a brave and pride-filled man. And the call to serve his country not all can understand. Behind the lines I see the things needed to keep this country free. My husband makes the sacrifice, but so do our kids and me. I love the man I married. Soldiering is his life. But I stand among the silent ranks, known as the Military Wife.
I can't believe I haven't announced this yet, but I've been welcomed into the ranks of some amazing ladies. Many of you may be familiar with Wendy and Marie of Navy Wife Radio. Well, in addition, to their radio site, they have a great blog: My Crazy Amazing Military Life. I'm thrilled to be blogging with them and hope you will take a jaunt over and read all the posts written by this fabulous group of women (largely Navy spouses).
Fall back on bed. Does this qualify as sit-ups? I attempt to get up once again. If it weren’t for the child pulling on my feet and another one shouting “BREAK--FAAAST”, I would probably still be in sleepy-land bliss. *sigh*
Somehow I make way into the hallway barely opening my eyes thinking that someone must be shining a horribly bright mag light in my face. Nope, that would be the sun peeking through the blinds. I must pee. I have to go, that is the first thing in the morning one must accomplish. Kegels cannot completely erase what childbirth has done to me and if I wait one more second, I will literally wet my pants. Ok, perhaps that was a bit too much information there. You can relate though, can’t you? No children, yet? Oh, just wait for the fun—you’ll see.
Seconds later, there are mini beings jumping at me, shouting things I’m not capable of comprehending yet. Baby on the hip—I struggle over the gate into the kitchen and lift the other two up and over. Now, that has got to count as some sort of exercise. The day brings on tons of stretching in the way of reaching under tables and car seats for missing items. Boy, my back feels great—errr…old. I think I just threw it out (again). Come on mommy, the middle little rugrat wants a horsey ride. You’ve got to be kidding me, I think.
Throughout the day: Up and down the stairs with boat loads of laundry. My thighs are burning now. I hope my backside is lifting.
And, this is just a small glimpse into the daily exercises whether I want to or not.
I know I shouldn't be on the computer. I should be enjoying every last minute with my husband. He just got back, you know. I have a little time to myself though. He took the dog to the vet this afternoon. Yippee, something I don't have to do. Isn't that why homecomings are great? The hubby comes home to a long 'honey do' list. Alright, so he didn't have one waiting for him. I was tempted though.
I did accomplish quite a bit while he was gone in the way of home remodeling. I was bound and determined to show him my military spouse strength and that I hadn't lost "it". I still had the fortitude to go forth and take care of things. It wasn't so much to prove that I didn't need him, because quite the contrary I do. He's great for back rubs and oil changes. Rather, it was to remind myself that I can get things done. After all, I endured 12 weeks of boot camp, become an expert rifleman, and naturally birthed three children (no not all at the same time). I'm woman hear me ROAR!
The best part yesterday was when we all walked through the front door and my husband looked around. I was waiting for him to ask "What happened to the kitchen?" Honestly, I don't think he loves what I've done, and it's still be worked on. Still, he just smiled and seemed surprised. He then looked at the kids' rooms and took in all I had done in there. I was proud to show off all that I had done during this deployment.
I'm going to have some down time since he just got back though. I think I've earned it. So, I'll try to get on here again soon to share some tidbits with you all. Till next time.
The tempest was brewing. For whatever reason, maybe the wind blew west instead of east, she was oh so dreadful. The tantrum commenced with a little whining and escalated at a rate faster than the lead car at the Indy 500. Before I could even figure out what ignited the whole thing, there were tears. There was screaming. Kicking and flailing. It was not pretty.
Struggling to deal with the situation, I at first attempted to ignore it. After all, don't give attention or else it may elevate the problem. That didn't work or perhaps I didn't ignore long enough. The mission was obvious though. No matter who was upset or why, I had to get to the store. Diapers had to be purchased. If not, the day could have been catastrophic. The fate of a child's bum lay in my hands.
In hindsight, I should have remembered that I had an extra stash of diapers for just this type of emergency. Nonetheless, I was bewildered by the storm that had become full blown in such a short amount of time.
Trying to calm the child down did nothing. Today, I actually didn't resort to bribery. I stuck to my guns. Piled the children in the shopping cart and saddled up to the storefront. I figured by walking a little slowly the screaming banshee of a child would have cooled off a little. No such luck.
Onlookers were gawking. Siblings were getting restless. My patience wearing thing, I explained that I would not enter the store until she composed herself. To this her reply was simple--more screaming. A normal person might have turned that cart around put the kids in the car and driven home avoiding all sorts of embarrassment and stares. Not me. I must be a glutton for punishment. The doors open and in we walked. The screaming increased.
Women with their own children, elderly folks, store workers just looked on in shock and disbelief. I don't know if they were annoyed or perplexed. On any given day I would have shot them back a look or even made a comment about how they could perhaps parent this situation, but I just acted as if things were normal. As long I retained composure the enemy....errr child...would see I hadn't conceded defeat. My sights were set, the target was in short range. Still, it seemed as though it took an hour to get there.
This is a very abbreviated version of all the drama that ensued, but I will say upon reaching the checkout with the box of diapers and still one over-the-top melting down child and two seemingly happy children I just smiled. I smiled and almost giggled. The people at this point who were staring either thought I was just an evil mom or had lost my marbles.
We left the store and I had victory. I had diapers and I didn't cave into the tempest's demands for attention. Check one for mom. Phew. It's not every day I can accomplish a task without losing my cool in a situation like this.
Gosh I hope the day is better tomorrow. There is no guarantee that I won't go AWOL -- I'm getting too old for this.