(Drafted in May, published in August 2014)
I have written 50,000 blog posts in my mind during the months that you have seen nothing published on my blog site. Today, however, I am feeling that I will burst open at the seams if I don't write this and publish it as a therapeutic gesture! Being part of the military family is both an adventure and a harrowing ride! You spend a number of months, when it comes time to make a change, of living in flux that you yourself cannot control. While you are living in this "valley of someone else's decision," the people with whom you have gotten really close in the vast scope of faceless others living on and around the base are getting orders and the "hail and farewells" begin!
I feel alone in a crowd. I feel held in suspended space while everyone around me is spinning around bumping unto each other!
The sun is beaming outside, and if you know anything about the Seattle area, you know that more times than not it is raining! As I prepared our juice for the morning, my husband and I watched a Allied moving truck, two times the width of our house, maneuver it's way in front of the house next door. We are saying goodbye to the precious little couple and their little boy next door as they move off to San Antonio and forever sun. In a few short days, our neighbors next door will be in the same position as they move their furniture to a bigger house a few streets away in preparation for the new baby who will be added to their family of three. This along with recognition and goodbyes to all of the PCSers (for non military, this means Permanent Change of duty Station--the irony being on the word permanent) at PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel) yesterday produced my "being all alone on an island" feeling.
Many of those whom we recognized yesterday, in addition to the many more who were not there, are Chaplain's wives. That is significant for many reasons. The first reason is because my husband is a Chaplain, and it is with these women that I have attended coffees or learned to make bread in the home of our Senior Chaplain of the Post wife's home, or prayed together over one of our Chaplain spouses who was diagnosed with cancer. Secondly, within our own SF Group this summer, three Chaplains will be covering down for what would normally be six positions. What a hole to fill!
In civilian life, I have had friends move away; in military life, I have had many friends move away all within days or months of each other! That may be the harrowing ride of the military, but I readily acknowledge that the spouse of a frequently deployed Soldier may have many things to add to the dark side other than moving friends.
The adventure of all of this is that I am constantly meeting new people and making lifelong friends that I would have missed had we lived in our small town in mid- America. I would not have experienced living in the Pacific Northwest or in the Mid West or where ever else The Lord and the military sends us had we not been part of this family of people. I would not have pushed myself to engage in classes like water aerobics or yoga, or in community choir performances, or in spouse events requiring total foolishness on my part, or to help my husband meet needs of fellow Soldiers who need some encouraging words or home cooked meals! The sun is shining, and my heart is at rest as I trust God to lead us and plug the lonely holes in our hearts.