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A Sub Wife – on Military Family Month

November 30, 2011
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A Guest Post from mirgladd:

I’ve been casually tossing ideas for this post around my head for a couple weeks now. At first I was all, Gah! What could I possibly have to say that would be any different from what every other spouse has to say? Then I thought about consulting a few friends, to make sure that I properly represented all of us bubblehead wives & didn’t miss a thing. Then I thought holy crap, what can I say that won’t embarrass the dickens out of my husband should someone from his command see this? I’ve finally come to the realization that this post isn’t about representing sub wives, & honestly, I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t be the first (or the last) time I make someone at my husband’s command cringe – that kind of seems to be something I’m really awesome at. This is about us. Forgive my scattered thoughts & randomness.

I happened upon LAW’s post about guest bloggers on Veteran’s Day. My husband, D, & I were driving to a pre-op appointment. I was trying to settle my pre-op nerves by making a mental list of everything that had to be done that weekend. There was absolutely no doubt that the next few days were going to be insane. The movers had come the day before to pack out the majority of our things, that day would be filled with needles, labs, & paper work for my upcoming hysterectomy, the next with packing up the rest of our life in Georgia, & Sunday would be the day we loaded the moving truck & headed for South Carolina. Although it may be for a lot of military wives, the move wasn’t a sad thing for me. Even though I’d spent the majority of my twenty-seven years in Georgia, as the daughter of a railroad man, my life had been packed up & moved to some part of the state many, many times. I never lived in one place for more than a few years growing up, so I’d had the moving itch for quite a while. D & I had lived right outside of the Kings Bay sub base for nearly five years – the entire time we’d known each other – & I was ready to begin the next chapter of our lives. Maybe I’m a little odd (okay, so there’s really no maybe about it), but the only somewhat sad thoughts I had about moving were about leaving the only home our boys had ever known. That house, our first home, was where we’d brought our boys home from the hospital. Yeah, there were a lot of amazing memories there, but I knew there were memories waiting to be made in South Carolina. I don’t know if it’s all because of my family’s near nomad existence or if it is because of my own military service, but it’s not the house I cling to, that gives me a sense of home. Isn’t that one of the requirements of being a military wife, the ability to make a home out of a cardboard box if the need arises?

So our crazy busy week flew by, & here we are. It’s the Saturday after Thanksgiving & a cool 65ish degrees in South Carolina. I’m eight days post-op (& uterus-less, which just blows my mind). My three year old, Chop, is hanging out on the couch watching Olivia, while my eighteen month old is snoozing through his afternoon nap upstairs. D headed back to Georgia early this morning for some mandatory training on the boat. I look around & there are boxes, boxes, & more boxes. There are bare walls. This is house is literally almost twice the size of our place in Georgia. I close my eyes & listening to the faint sounds of Zilla snoring through the baby monitor, & I realize, this is the next few months of my life. D has been on leave the last two weeks, first to make sure the move went smoothly, & then to help take care of me & the boys while I recover from surgery. The rest of the guys checked in off of leave this morning before training, but when D finishes today, he’ll be headed right back up here to us because the boat was kind enough to allow him to take an extra week of leave since my recovery time is closer to six weeks than eight days. That is a wonderful thing, & believe me, I’m oh-so-grateful that they are giving us those extra precious days, because when his leave is up, it will be months before I see my husband again. This isn’t your average PCS. The boys & I will be staying in South Carolina while D returns to Georgia for one last run. Deployment number ten. In four & a half years. TEN. As I type that I can’t help but think back over those ten patrols. Patrol one – two weeks after we committed the rest of our lives to each other. Patrol two – three days after we found out I was pregnant with Chop. Patrol three – Chop was four days old. Patrol five – I found out I was pregnant with Zilla before the boat was gone even twenty-four hours. Patrol seven – this one was short, but unexpected; D felt so bad about missing our third anniversary & racked his brain the whole five days he was gone coming up with a special anniversary gift, only to be rushed to the CO’s state room the second they moored up to hear that Zilla had been born seven weeks early (happy anniversary sugar britches!). Patrol eight – the next patrol is the last patrol, yay! Shore duty here we come! Patrol nine – “Uhh, babe, I’m SO sorry, but things changed. The next one is the last one, I promise!”

Now patrol ten is gaining on me. D won’t be home for Christmas this year. It will be our first Christmas without him, my first Christmas without him. So we’re decorating our tree & making Christmas cookies tonight because, luckily, Chop won’t remember that we made them in November – he’ll just remember that we made them with Daddy, & that’s what matters. Am I ready for this patrol? No. Absolutely not. I’m never ready. When the day comes & I have to kiss him goodbye, I will cry. Like a baby. I hate that the Navy thinks they need him more than I do. Because I need him! I need him like I need my next breath of air! I have my days where I don’t want to put on a brave front – not for my boys, not for my family, not for the other wives, not for anyone. I just want to go curl up with D, bury my face in the hoodie he’s wearing, & stay there for a while. But deep down, I know that when I committed myself to him, I also committed myself to the Navy. I vowed to love him until I take my last breath, & with that, I vowed to find my big girl panties & be strong when the Navy takes him away. And that’s just what I’ll do.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 3, 2011 12:44 am

    *sigh* I can’t say I feel your pain, because I don’t. None of us ever feels the other’s pain. We only know our own. But I recognize some minor part of which you speak.

    I don’t even like my big girl panties any more. I wear them too often.

    (I’m thinking of “free balling” it next time. Let’s see what the other wives at Bunco make of that!)

    • mirgladd permalink
      December 4, 2011 4:43 pm

      Bwahaha! Love it!

      Agreed. I think that there is something that we all share, which is missing our guys – every single one of us knows that pain. I’ve found that it’s hard for my friends who are Air Force/Army/Marine wives to understand & relate to what I’m feeling when I haven’t received an email from D in two months or when I can’t sleep because I’m worried about where he might be (& vice versa), but if you take all the details of branch/rate/whatever away, the feeling of missing hafl of yourself is the same.

  2. mirgladd permalink
    December 4, 2011 4:50 pm

    Wow, I should have read that before posting it.
    *there is something we all..

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