I had no clue what the military life style was like when I married my husband. I probably could have told you more about the lifestyle of the rich and famous because they are always on TV. Sure I had seen some of the tear filled leaving and coming home videos. I had seen some news reports, even a movie or two that show these heroic (yummy looking) men running into battle. Maybe I did even think: They can't all be like Chuck Norris or Steven Seagal,
kicking ass and taking names can they? None of that stuff out there really prepares you for the reality of this life. It is only giving maybe a snap shot of moments and a lot of times not even accurately depicting those.
I don’t think you can read a book or watch a movie to truly understand this life. To me its like looking at a photo of the beach vs. being on it. I have come to believe this life really is one of those things you have to live through to understand completely. How do you explain the bond the men form during battle. How do you explain the heartbreak you feel saying good-bye or the love you feel from a letter or a call. The frequently non-tangible things we experience in this life. I don’t believe words can ever truly explain the depth or sensations that these experiences cause.
I use to think this life style was only for the strong. I have recently concluded that is not entirely true. Whether you are the Marine/Service member or the family member it takes something more something different then just strength to make it through. Well, if you want to make it without ending up with one of those oh so fashionable white jackets. I believe they are commonly referred to as “strait jackets” and come with there very own little padded rooms. I am desperately trying to avoid getting acquainted with either.
We commonly joke about putting on our big girl panties, the men joke about sucking it up. “Pain is weakness leaving the body” … Strength can only get you so far. This life does not just take strength. it takes just as much resiliency and determination. Even the biggest man can be dropped and knocked down. Then you need resiliency to put yourself back together. The determination to want to get back up and then the strength to do it.
Favorite quote from Oriah Mountain Dreamer
It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
The next time someone tells me to be strong, I think I will tell them. No I’m going to be resilient today, maybe I’ll be strong tomorrow. “Semper Gumby!”
One last note: Our men do not go into battle alone, they go as units and depend/ lean on each other along the way. As wives we need to remember we can not do it all alone either. Find and utilize a support system!
Semper Fi !
Resilience- an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change
Strength- the quality or state of being strong : capacity for exertion or endurance