An Army Wife's Life

Once upon a time I was a college student, then I was a teacher, and now I'm a mother. Technically, I'm currently a freelance writer... but really I am an ARMY WIFE. Expect to find... funny (at least to me) anecdotes, thoughts about la vida military, hopes, anxieties, dreams, commentaries on current events.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Never Say Goodbye

Bear with me, I am about to ramble...some navel-gazing philosophizing of the worst sort, I suspect.

If you had asked me fifteen years ago whether I would marry a man who would eventually join the service, I would have told you that you were out of your mind. (Molly fancied herself a bit of an anti-authoritarian rebel back in the day)

My life is completely different from the way I imagined it back in high school, and yet I wouldn't trade it. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of the other one, that person who took a different path, out of the corner of my eye. There's a glint of sunlight, the smell of damp earth, the heat rising off the pavement and she's there. Just a flicker and she's gone...

She's usually heading wherever the wind blows, or some other cliche straight out of a novel written well before her time, most likely while the author was under the influence of some psychoactive drug that may or may not have yet been illegal at the moment in history.

Times change, however, and here I am.

Never say never.

And never say goodbye. Everything we ever were or ever dreamed of comes along for the ride.

This is a long way of announcing that DH's REFRAD packet (Release from Active Duty) has been approved.

Don't drop me from your bookmarks and blogrolls, yet, though--please!

There is still clearing post, final PCS, and readjustment to civilian life fun to be had. And let's not even talk about the fact that DH can still be called up until he has finished out his IRR commitment and resigned his commission!


Barring any monkey business, though, we will be on our way back to New York this summer.

In some ways, however, I don't feel like we ever left. Sure, I threw myself into the whole Army Wife with abandon. I read the books, cried the tears, celebrated the joys, blogged the life, bought the t-shirt...

If DH had decided to make this his career, I would have supported him 100%. There are certainly some aspects of being a MilSpouse that I will miss.

In general we are a tight, supportive group.

Both the official policy and the zeitgeist are very pro-family, even if the job requirements aren't always conducive to stability.

There is always something meaningful that can be done...for the husband, the families, the unit. You know, for God and Country and all that.

I can't say I would view the prospect of another imminent deployment with great relish...but if I had to do it, I could do it, and I would do it.

Still, somewhere in the back of my mind, I suspected this was all temporary. My "real life" was waiting for me back in New York.

Except, my life has undergone so many transformations, I am not even sure what that means anymore, beyond that it involves DH and Lilah. We aren't even moving back to one of the counties where DH and I grew up...he's accepted an offer to be an Assistant District Attorney in a county a little further out from the city. Certainly much closer to family than we've been in a long while, but not we were in the neighborhood so we thought we'd drop by close.

I guess where I am going with this, if I am going anywhere at all, is that either it is all my "real life" or none of it is.

I suppose someday there will be the smell of fresh paint, or the thudding approach of a helicopter, or the unfurling of a flag, and I will spot her--drying tears and hugging someone she barely knows, hosting social gatherings and meetings, and trying to hold it together so the younger ones will take strength from her example. And she'll look proud, and perhaps a little weary, foundation caked from when she hastily re-applied her happy face. Then, a deep cannon-like boom, and she'll vanish.

Some days I feel like I trail these other me's behind me, like ghosts.

On other days, I realize that all of my experiences have brought me to this moment. Whatever other paths I may not have chosen, everything I ever have or will done travels along with me on this one...not behind me, or beside me, but in everything I am.

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