I have been struggling with whether or not I want to talk about this aspect of my life for some time as it is very personal but relevant to my life as a military spouse. Things were going blissfully well for me after a few months of adjusting to Okinawa. I was 8 months pregnant and my husband had to return to the states for a school for a month. I was stuck in Japan alone and very pregnant, hoping that he would make it back in time to be there to see his son born. Either way I could handle it. I had the support of some new friends so I wouldn’t be completely alone. Still, I wanted him there. My mom and sister were coming out to see my new baby so all was going to be ok.
Eventually my husband showed up a week early. And my sister and mom by lucky coincidence flew in just hours before my son was born and were both there for it! I was blissfully happy and overwhelmed with love. I was the luckiest girl in the world! Then after two weeks my mom and sister went home. And that’s when it happened. My dad, the man who I named my sons middle name after, left my mom for another woman after almost 30 years of marriage. I was left in Japan with a newborn recovering from a complicated birth unable to be there for my mom in her time of need. After my husband had his two weeks of daddy leave he was gone constantly. I would see him maybe 7-11 days a month for the next year. I couldn’t travel as it would be at least 2 months for me to get a passport for my son. I was stuck and a sad and lonely new mother. With a heavy heart I got through it a day at a time. And it was one of a few times in my life that I truly resented being a military spouse. I relied on new friends to get me through this difficult time and I will always be grateful to them.
These are the type of sacrifices we make as military spouses. Supporting what my husband does has come at a huge cost. I couldn’t be there for my mother and it haunts me to this day. Our husbands pay the price of freedom with blood and as military spouses we pay with our hearts. And you will feel it when your husbands deploy, when you can’t be with your family during a difficult time, when you miss your brothers high school graduation, when you watch your kids grow up without their grandparents and extended families. It will hurt. But you, like your husband will find the strength and move forward because that’s what it takes.
Despite all that has happened, I am happy. My parents are working through their issues and the sky didn’t fall. I wouldn’t change my decision of marrying my husband for one minute. He has done some amazing things for his country, he’s lived out his dream of being a pilot and I’ve made friends out here that I consider family. I’ve seen things that I never in my life thought I would see. I have plenty of great stories for my grandkids someday.
The more military spouses I meet the more I understand, we are strong and yes, we pay with our hearts but we have enough of it to give.