Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fear, with a side of hope.

This post is going to end on a light note, I promise.

I just had to say that I love how the military spouse blogging community is coming together now. Over the past couple days I've felt so heavy. I feel like I have a crying hangover. You girls know what I mean? That feeling when you've cried so much everything from your head to your toes feels a thousand pounds heavier than normal and all you want to do is sleep? I don't think I've ever grieved with someone more than I do now with Rachel.

I think, at least I know some of us have talked about this, that everyone in our community is mourning two things right now. One, we hurt deeply that one of our sisters is living out the sum of all our military spouse fears. We just want to erase all her pain and make everything right again. If we are honest though, I think we also are mourning the day our safety bubble popped. "The knock at the door" is no longer an expression without a face or a name. It hits home when we say things like "I can't even imagine..." But the truth is we don't want to imagine. No one should have to. As spouses left at home its impossible not to worry now about our own futures with our husbands. That's something they themselves don't understand. They are trained to be able to flip a switch in their brains and tune things out. It might be hard but they can do it easier than we can.

No matter what branch you and/or your spouse serve in we all share a common fear. There are no boundary lines on tragedy, it hits each branch the same. It would be very easy for me to live my life in a constant state of fear. I do let it get to me more than I should. G.I. Joe can tell you that after these past couple days. Even though his retirement from the military is the only way those fears will ever truly be "erased" I've still seen a glimmer of hope. The hope is in the bond that we military wives share. Its in the out pouring of love and support that the community has shown Rachel. All of our "behind the scenes" chats since yesterday on Twitter, Facebook and email has reminded me that we share a bond that can break down any walls and cross any bridge. Knowing that I'm never alone in my journey as a military spouse helps ease heaviness of the worries that come with this life.

Seeing how strong these ties are has made me realize something. I still do not ever want Lucy to know the unspeakable pain that too many military wives experience. That being said...if she one day decides she wants to "join our ranks" in the way way way distant future, I'll be happy to know she will have the support system that we as spouses form.

Today I can't help but think of how God "gives beauty for ashes, and strength for fear." You'll have to look far and wide to find a better paradigm of that than the military community.

We all live for a higher calling. Our hope is not just for ourselves.

Its a hope that children in far away lands will grow up to live safer and happier lives than the ones who went before them.

If you would like a really inspirational read this weekend, check out this blog post. Its the story of a brave young man named Patrick Zeigler. He was shot in the head at the Fort Hood shooting back in November. This is the story of his triumphant recovery and amazing love story. Read all the way to the end. His fiance is a hero and has never once left his side since he was shot. (Warning: there are some injury pictures that might be difficult to look at)

Lastly, G.I. Joe and I are celebrating a really awesome anniversary today! Its been 1 year since this happened....anyone want to take a guess as to what it is? I'll be back with the answer on Sunday or Monday but as a hint you can find it in a blog post about this time last year.


Mrs P said...

This is beautiful sweetie. I thank all of you for your kind words, your reaching out, and the love and prayers that have been pouring in, even though I haven't had a chance to even begin thanking anyone just yet. (I really haven't commented anywhere, but I had to here).

And ya know, I commented on your post about Lucy and our girls loving military men in the (very distant) future before the accident but I've got to say, my thoughts remain almost the same. While I watch my mom hurt as she can not take my pain away and I know it breaks her hurt every second, I know that she is so very happy that Jonny and I had... NO, have, the love we do, I hope one day in the future Ariana (and Lucy and all our daughters) find a love that completes them the way Jonny's love completed me and I'm sure your service members' love all completes each of you.

Mrs. G.I. Joe said...

Girl, I am constantly amazed by your grace and bravery. I'm so proud to "know" you. I wish I could be there with you but please know you are in my heart.

Jessica said...

Your post is beautifully written.

And Mrs. P's strength and grace amazes me.

I too have not stopped thinking about her and lifting her in prayer.

Julie the Army Wife said...

What a beautiful post. You are so right. The love the military shows its own is amazing.

I would be honored if my sons joined the military. It would be hard to let them go but what an amazing thing for them to do.

Ashley said...

I am amazed by Mrs. P's strength through her grieving and pain.

This post is beautifully written. Hope you have a great time celebrating with your husband.

Birdie said...

Well said. We have to lift each other up, because who understands better?

HellcatBetty said...

You write beautifully, dear. I haven't stopped thinking about Rachel either... somehow it feels as if we are all sharing her grief. Even if we don't know her other than in the blogosphere... we could easily be her. Which makes us all realize how fragile this life we lead really is. She's an amazingly strong woman.

JG said...

I think we were all reminded how blessed we are to have our milwife sisters this week. Thanks for sharing that link, and for supporting Rachel like you have been.

And I'm not sure what the 1-year would be...because Lucy is over a year old now, right? So....yeah, I don't know. :)

Crazy Shenanigans said...

Have an amazing anniversary together!

Lisa said...

What a beautiful post. I've kind of felt the same way... that the "safe" bubble has been popped, now that I "know" someone who has lost someone to the war.

I'm glad to see Rachel's comment, she is exactly what you said, full of grace. I am so impressed by her strength through this.

I'll have to look and see what the year anniversary is, but happy anniversary!

R said...

beautiful post... very well written.

the anniversary of G.I. Joe's homecoming? (I cheated by going back to last March) :) it's my best guess!

Riding the Roller Coaster said...

I agree with you so much that I could have written this post myself. My husband is about to be deployed, and since the news of Mr. P, my emotions have been all over the map. Tears come at the worst moments. But like you, I am heartened by the strong sense of community that we mil spouses have built in the blogosphere. We live lives that most people can't imagine. But we do it with strength and support, and I don't think we'd make it without each other.

Mateya said...

Such a great post and so much truth! The support we have for one another is unwavering and I am so very proud to call myself a military (soon to be) wife!

Anonymous said...

Your post made me cry, again. and then Mrs P's words made me cry, again. :(

I think you said it beautifully m'dear. :)

Umm... I have no idea what the anniversary is but yay! for whatever it is lol.

kristy said...

I was on my way back home to NC when I read Mrs. P's blog about her husband. I broke down crying. We're the same age + our daughters are very close to the same age and she's going through my worst nightmare. I have been extremely blessed to have only had my husband gone for very short periods of time. Her story is the closest i've had in experiencing this kind of tragic loss and I think your words are beautiful. I was amazed as I was keeping up with all the feeds on my phone during our trip - the outpour of support from the spouses online is just amazing. What you wrote is what we are all feeling and it's nice knowing there are other great military wives out there! Keep on writing, you're great at it (:

Ashleigh said...

I agree, no matter what branch - it is a wife's absolutely worst fear! My heart broke for Rachel when I read of her loss only a few weeks ago when I first started trying to branch out into the "military wife" blogging community. I hope and pray {sounds cliche but I mean that. I really hope and REALLY pray} that she can find comfort.