Thursday, October 12, 2006

The "Who Has it Worse" game

Between deployed Marines/ Soldiers and their spouses it’s easy to play the “who has it worse” game. Being the even-keeled person that I am, I am ok with saying we both have it hard….an example:

The day he left

Him: riding out on his floating steel chariot, heart thumping, adrenalin rushing, the adventure starting

Me: holding his hand as he prepares to leave, keeping my patience when his superiors come to chat with him, cutting in to our last few seconds together. Waving goodbye as he rides away. Driving home to the big empty house, seeing his dirty laundry, the empty Monster can he’d finished off the night before, not quite bringing myself to throw it away, not just yet.
I’d rather be him.

Christmas Day

Him: probably stuck in the middle of the desert, maybe out on a mission, receiving stale crushed gingerbread cookies in the mail, waiting for a Christmas gift that hasn’t made it yet, singing Jingle Bells in his head to drone out the chanting blasted from every loudspeakers on every mosque in town.

Me: sitting at home with my family, opening up gifts by the fire, making butter-ball cookies with my mom, waking up to Santa Clause-stuffed stockings, clinging to my cell-phone hoping for a phone call from my husband.

I’d rather be me.

Yes, we’ve both have it tough – we’ve been separated from each other before our new marriage has even had a chance to solidify, for holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries; if we speak, it’s in the middle of the night in 15 minute increments, forcing us to trust that the other is thinking about us, loving us, even if they can’t let you know.

But let me also tell you why we have it good. We have a little more perspective. We squander our minutes together a little less, knowing that they are limited. We have an opportunity to write each other love letters. We learn to be proud of one another, and proud of ourselves. And when we say ‘I love you,’ the small crack in the voice shows that we really mean it…and, for me at least, the silver lining that I don’t have to watch a single football game this whole season.

While I don’t always love this life, while I wish that I knew right now where my husband is and what he is doing, while I sometimes feel alone, sacrificing so much for something that most people find an inconvenience to their pocket book or a nagging annoyance on the evening news, while we both have it hard and it’s easy to slip into the “who has it worse” game - I find it helps to focus on what I have learned, how this has helped us, and how lucky I am to really know it.

6 Comments:

At October 17, 2006, Anonymous Kat said...

I am an Army wife and I think what you said is so true. I teared up just by reading the first couple of lines because I could identify so much. Thanks for writing!

 
At October 17, 2006, Anonymous Tracie said...

Hi. I came across your blog from the Doonesbury Sandbox site. You write very well and I commend you for your courage. It sounds like you know what you need to do to stay sane during this deployment; make sure you listen to yourself and seek out those activities and/or support and keep yourself busy! Yes, it's hard to send your man off to war, but if he didn't have the dedication and courage to do it, he wouldn't be the man you love. I give you and the other military families a lot of credit. Your support gives our service men and women one less thing to worry about.

 
At October 17, 2006, Anonymous Crystal said...

I too teared up after reading just a few words of this. My boyfriend is currently in Iraq and unfortunatly, this is an issue we know so well. It is helpful to me to know I am not the only one going through these things. Thanks!

 
At October 17, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too teared up after reading just a few words of this. My boyfriend is currently in Iraq and unfortunatly, this is an issue we know so well. It is helpful to me to know I am not the only one going through these things. Thanks!

 
At October 18, 2006, Blogger Sack said...

Great post. I decided along time ago that the majority of the time it is easier for me over here. I only have to take care of myself, she has a little guy (our first) to raise by herself. I have a whole group of guys that are going through the exact same thing, and we are able to support each other. She has a monthly support group.

I think the hardest thing is that people at home are focused on me and my sacrifice, and my wife's goes unnoticed much of the time. Your duty is no easier than ours, and I honestly don't know if I would switch places.

 
At January 07, 2007, Blogger Blaez said...

hon, you have it right so far. good mentality. your gonna be just fine.

 

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