How many times have we given those bear hugs to our friends and neighbors as their moving van pulled away, habitually saying "good bye" only to be reprimanded with, "it's never good bye", it's "I'll see you later?" We learned the error of our ways, and also learned, for the most part in the early part of our military careers, that it was so true -- we would see them later.
Our friends are different then those made by our mil-member spouse. Our paths around town and around our posts and bases, bring us into contact with many different people, all of whom make our tour unique -- unique to us. I hate it when someone from my support network of friends leaves, either due to a PCS or a retirement. Lately, in a period of 4 weeks, I've had two dear friends leave ... me. You hug them, you tear up, you say, See you later, and you hope in your gut, that for once ... it will actually cometrue. As you get to my age, friends come slower and friendships run deeper. But, we all still say, "See You Later ..."
Yesterday, though, was a bit different.
In the business we and our loved ones are in, we inherently understand that bad things happen to good people. We inherently understand that when you and I send our spouses into harms' way, that bad things can happen to OUR good people. As we prep for deployments, as we hunker down mentally for the trials and tribulations that will befall us and tend to trip us while they're away, we know how to begin privately steeling ourselves to the many possible endings ...
...but it's never supposed to be one of us -- hey, we're mil-spouses! Rulers of our military assigned housing, keepers of the flame (in the hot water heater), and that steady rock upon which all things in the universe are built. Yes?
Two weeks ago, a peer of mine, also a male mil-spouse married to an active duty lady, was in line at the base hospital filling a script. When, all of a sudden,it was over. His wife was TDY, his grown daughters were on opposite coasts of CONUS, and he was here. Mil-Spouse Down.
Yesterday was his memorial service. Many, many uniforms. Much said. Accolades abounded about the things he did for others during his life. There, ... was his wife. In uniform. She had no prep, she hadn't had a chance to hunker down mentally before her TDY, she hadn't seen the need to steel herself against a possible homecoming to bury her husband. I do believe that days before she had probably said, "See You Later" and then sealed it with a kiss. There was no ... "Good Bye."
You and I have talked before on SpouseBUZZ, about all that you need your mil-member to do to keep their affairs in order for you -- have you given it any thought that maybe we need to prep our affairs for them? And you might consider one other thing -- sealed tightly in an envelope, in your safe place of all things important, ever thought about writing that note to your mil-member telling them all that you would say, if only you could?
And now that I think of it, maybe "Good Bye" isn't appropriate here, either. See you later seems to have a ring that I prefer. Paul, my friend, We'll See You Later ... Over & Out, MaintenanceToadOne