time #1: when ryan & i were engaged, i started spending a lot more time in pensacola. it also happened to be summer & as many of you know, summer on the gulf coast is H-OT. ryan also was at a critical point of his flight training and had to memorize an absurd number of emergency procedures word for word. so, one saturday, we were en route to the beach, driving on this gorgeous, winding road & i was quizzing him. this involved me reading along while he rattled off that particular emergency procedure. many of them were harmless enough, a warning light, etc. then we got to the doozies. engine failure. engine fire. and he started saying things like "point the aircraft towards an unpopulated area..." & "bail out..." after one, i guess i had gotten particularly quiet. he looks over to see me as white as a ghost & about ready to lose my lunch. here's the thing: i'm a REALLY empathetic person. i pass out most times i walk in a hospital. & i think i was picturing him in every one of these scenarios & was so focused on helping him learn, i didn't realize i was getting really light headed. (side note - ryan also got a big kick out of how many times i could tell him "good job!!!" during one emergency procedure -- let's say it was a tad bit different than how his instructors responded). so, ryan pulled over, got me some water & we decided to not do those particular procedures for a while. especially while driving in 100 degree weather on winding roads.
time #2: ryan got back from some pretty intense survival training this weekend. we needed to have some follow up conversations about things i needed to know if we had to go through some worst case scenarios. so, bless his heart, he decides to do this while we're sitting at california pizza kitchen having a late lunch. i'm playing it cool at first, listening, asking questions & then something clicked. my ghost face came back & i just looked at him and said, "do you want the whole pizza that badly?!" we laughed and tabled that conversation for non-meal times.
so, i had this little internal monologue going as i was typing these two stories. it was saying things like "gosh, you're a wuss. there are military wives that have had it LOTS tougher -- like how about 12 month deployments?!" or "i bet most wives don't even blink at these things," but then another voice said, "write it anyway. even if it only means something to one reader, it's worth it."
and here's why: people say to me all the time they "don't know how i do it" or "could never be a military wife" & it always makes me smile. i didn't have a life plan to marry someone in the military. i didn't wake up one morning and say, "you know what, I'm tough enough, let's go find a navy pilot to marry." i did what everyone else does, i met someone and couldn't imagine my life without them. i knew he was EXACTLY who i wanted to go through life with. and, he happened to have committed a lot of years to the navy. he's been active duty military the whole time i've known him. some of you have married people who are doctors or nurses or pastors or firemen or graduate students -- and all of those have consequences. whether it's student loans or a call schedule you can't control or never really being "off duty." i didn't get some special super power when i married ryan & there are LOTS of days when i don't feel tough enough or strong enough, but i believe we're given the strength we need & that this is exactly where i'm supposed to be.
so, for those of you who are thinking you might be a military spouse soon or who already are & doubt, on a regular basis, you're tough enough, i know exactly what you mean. that said, so far it's only made me almost pass out twice & the joys have FAR outweighed the trials.