It's a bit odd that a conversation with a civilian gave me some valuable perspective on military life, but that's exactly what happened after I digested our conversation with Ben Stein.
Ben Stein's beautiful wife is an Army brat. According to Ben, she "doesn't have an enemy in the world." Ben has encouraged his wife to write a book about how to get along with others. After all, she even gets along with "the prima donnas in Hollywood," said Ben. Ben attributes this to his wife's military upbringing, and I think he's onto something. Sarah told Ben it's as if milspouses are a part of some wonderful secret society.
Sarah's words were particularly poignant to me as I sat in a hotel room talking with Ben Stein, Sarah and AWTM. You see, I was in New York with a group of military spouses. A small group of us spent a great deal of time together. We shopped, dined and toured the big city together. We laughed so hard our cheeks were sore. Conversation and laughter came easily. I was so comfortable with this new family that I even told one or two of my most embarrassing stories. Yeah, I know what some of you are thinking, but Andi, you do that all the time around here. It's true, I do (poor Mr. Andi).
The point is that these women are -- or were -- virtual strangers to me only a few weeks ago. But that doesn't really matter in military life, does it? You dive in quickly and you automatically "get" each other. Our families serve. From that, everything else falls into place.
While we were waiting for our transportation home from New York, I looked around and thought about the many branches we represent, the many posts/bases we have collectively covered, the many countries and cities and towns we have lived in, the many deployments we've logged and the diversity of our backgrounds. And then, I thought how lucky I am to be a part of this unique sisterhood.
When you're at your lowest point and you're trying your best to "embrace the suck," think about what this life has afforded you. The majority of us have been given this fabulous opportunity to meet and become friends with people we would never have known if we had not married into the military.
When I'm staring death in the face, even if comes sooner than is natural, I know I'll leave this world certain that I lived, really lived. A point hammered home by airforcewife at SpouseBUZZ LIVE San Diego. I may have to write names and addresses in pencil, but I'll have a book full of names and addresses when I die. I have the military to thank for that precious gift. I've said it before, and it still holds true, military life brings the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. But in the end, at least for me, the highs make the lows seem like a mere blip on the radar screen.
I work and interact with hundreds of military spouses a day, as do many of you, but we do so in the "virtual" world. I love working in the virtual world. It's important, and vital to those who are geographically separated from a military installation. I love sharing every single day with you, but I'd also love a bit more face time with military spouses, and I know some of you would as well. This is why SpouseBUZZ is so deeply committed to our SpouseBUZZ LIVE events.
We're already fast at work on venues for 2008. If you missed the radio show about our LIVE events, click here to listen. That's what a sisterhood sounds like. The conversations here on SpouseBUZZ is what a sisterhood looks like. Those of you who blog, or are a part of message boards and chat rooms have created a sisterhood, too. We're pretty damn lucky to have one another.
The personal connections we make in this life run deep, and they last forever. And for that, I am truly blessed. All I have to say is....thank God I didn't marry Brad Pitt when he asked. Look what I would have missed....