I think one of the greatest things about being an Army wife is the legacy of women that have walked the road before us. I know that the wisdom and advice from the veteran Army wives were invaluable to me just in this short time that I’ve been a part of this adventure.
Last night we had dinner with a couple that has been such a great source of wisdom for us. He is a retired JAG officer (now ADA) and she is an amazing woman. We have been able to spend some time with them over the past year and we always laugh at the uncanny similarities in personality between the four of us. They have given wonderful advice that balances on reality of the hardships as well as embracing the adventure.
Last night they talked about the difficulty of absence. Anytime he would leave, she said the hardest times were before he left and right after he got back. She said the anxiety of his upcoming absence would always bring tension in their home. And despite the fact that she couldn't wait for him to get back, there was such a period of adjustment when he would return. She remembered feeling, “I just figured out how to do this without you and now I have to re-learn how to do it with you here!”
The “it” could be house work, finances, raising children, fixing the sink, or just dealing with sleeping in an empty bed… there will be adjustments.
She wrote him letters every time he would leave. She had to breathe in Grace as she remembered his exhaustion when he would return (especially after Ranger school).
She said she heard some good advice that would keep the conversations filled with substance. Each person could carry around a tiny notepad or scrap piece of paper with them and write down little things that happened throughout the day that you would normally talk about over the supper table. Then, when you would finally get to speak on the phone, bring out the notepads!
Do you have any other advice or wisdom? We are a community so every piece of wisdom is invaluable to the rookie Army wives like myself!
Love to you,