Most people know that I am a dedicated athlete. They know that I spend countless hours each day swimming, biking, running, and sweating. They know I love to run. They know I’m married, I love my two sweet dogs, and I miss my family back on the East Coast. In fact, many of you know me quite well…but not many know the life of a military wife, a military officer, or a military family. The constant goodbye, the constant worry, and the constant readjustment that goes on behind the scenes. Yes…we live a wonderful life that I wouldnt take back for a millisecond. But living this life comes with times where I feel like we are walking on a thin sheet of ice covering a frozen pond. Stepping ever so lightly trying to make it to the other side safely.
Days like today have reminded me of what is important. Days like today have reminded me why MY role might just be more important than I thought. I always hated the term “military wife”. I used to think “NO!I am a Teacher. A COACH. An athlete. A wife. NOT just a Military Wife!” But i’m learning that this really is a family in it’s own way when your biological family can’t be here in proximity.
I started looking at pictures the other day. Pictures from before I knew Adam. It made me realize that we tend to block out this part of our partners lives. Maybe because we can’t imagine our lives without them. But seeing these pictures made me realize he had these amazing friends that he spent so much time with. Who were going through the same things…and now we are older and are more in the depths of our careers. The odds of loosing people go up. And it reminds me how important it is to learn about this part of our partners lives, to love them not just who they are today, but for who they were. To look at those pictures of their childhood and adolescents. To learn about the people who are important in their lives, even if they live far away and have their own lives now.
Today Adam got word while on a mission that a Tanker crashed in Manas (overseas). Immediately my heart sunk. Adam’s best friend is there flying that very plane. No names had been released yet and I could feel the hair on my arms stand up. I couldn’t imagine how Adam was feeling. Of course we were scared that he was flying that plane. My thoughts raced with sadness for the families of the crew, and young lives lost too soon. Last week one of the plane’s Adam used to fly crashed over sea’s as well. We had to just sit and wait for names to be released for two days…was it a friend? Did he know them? Did he fly with them? He flew that very jet 3 times. Pretty scary.
This is getting too close to home. After getting word that our friend is okay, I tell Adam I love him and wish him safe travels for his next flight to Japan. Just be safe ok? I tell him… I love you. Praying that God keeps him safe.
After we talked I began to think about everything that goes into keeping a plane in the air. Everything that goes into keeping a pilot flying. Everything that goes into pre flight and a pilot being ready to fly. And thats when I realized that I do have a role in this. It’s important that I make sure I don’t disrupt his sleep the night before his flights. It’s important that he has a clean flight suit, a healthy meal before he flies, that he is awake and alert, that he has a cup of coffee, that he gets a hug and a kiss and is told that I love him. To not stress him out with petty things so he can stay focused on what he needs to do when he flys this enormous tanker across the Atlantic, Pacific, and god knows where else. To take care of the house, make sure the bills are paid, make sure the dogs are taken care of and the yard. To be able to be independent enough to handle things on my own when he is away, but not too stubborn to ask for help. To keep my identity and career. To continue to follow my dreams and pursuits while he is following his in this delicate balance of precious life. But mostly…to be supportive. To know that I may worry every time he puts on that flightsuit to fly, he loves what he does. And I am so proud of how hard he has worked to get there. And I am so proud of the sacrifices he makes for us to be there. So this is my promise to fold more socks, make more comfort food, and continue to give the love I know he deserves. From one home front to another, and as my dad always reminds me “fear and regret are twin theves who rob us of tomorrow”.