Monday, January 28, 2013

Because it's our own sisterhood...

     Last summer, I was at a get-together to say farewell to a special Ranger wife I've known for many years. In her speech, she said, "The guys have their Ranger buddies, and it's just as important for us wives to have them too." I instantly whipped my head around to my friend Lani and whispered, "You're my Ranger Buddy." I didn't give her much of a choice, but from that point on, we called each other RB. I'll let you in on a secret: the bond between military wives is strong, but the bond between Ranger wives is something most women will never have the opportunity to know.

     I've always been more comfortable around men. I can participate and know what I'm talking about if football comes into the conversation. Or baseball, golf, what have you. I don't know about wine or Grey's Anatomy. I'd rather have a few girlfriends I can trust than 100 friends I don't know very well. The women I've met and call friends through Adam's job I can trust 100%, and then some.

     The Ranger community is small. Sometimes I've been afraid to fart because I knew everyone in the community would know within five minutes. But, as a wife, we know inherently what the other wives are going through, especially during deployments. We don't feel bad texting another wife and letting them know we're having a bad day, or that we miss our husbands something awful. We are strong, but we also have those days, just like everyone else. We don't feel the need to let everyone on Facebook know, because we don't want sympathy. We want empathy, and we find that in our fellow wives.

     We watch each other's kids. We go out to eat together. We form book clubs and workout groups. We keep each other busy because it makes the long, seemingly endless days go by faster. We will drop everything if another wife is in need. We blindly sign up to help out other wives if they should ever need it, not knowing who or when, but because we truly care about each other. We are given opportunities to share feelings, memories, tears, and frustration when a Ranger dies in combat. Even if we didn't know him, we all grieve in our own way. We may not be family by blood, but we are family by heart.

     The women I have been fortunate enough to meet in the Ranger community are invaluable to me. I think we have all helped each other in ways others will never know, and those ways we do know about, we treasure because we know that any other woman wouldn't quite understand the way we do. We chose the man, not the life, but along with that life comes that glint of pride in our eyes and the knowing that regardless of what happens, we will always have each other's backs.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Because so soon we forget...

     Think back to Sept. 12, 2001 - how you felt, how the country had changed within a matter of hours. How wherever you went, you saw an American flag, and people were quicker with a smile, or said hello to you, even though they were a stranger.

     What in the hell has happened to all of us since then?

     One quick browse through any social media website, newspaper, or magazine, and let me tell you, it's no Sept. 12, 2001 anymore.

     I perused a quick article my brother-in-law shared on Facebook about different ways to be happier. One suggestion was to let up on debating others about politics, religion, etc. I took this to heart, because as I read it, I realized that while I enjoy healthy debates, the chance of me changing someone's mind, opinion, or morals was slim to none. If I could get someone to see a different point of view, then that's great, but it seems that so many of us think that our opinions are right, and anyone who doesn't agree with us is wrong. I'm so sick of this mentality, that I refuse to be drawn into it anymore. I'd rather have a bout of explosive diarrhea than try to explain why I have a gun in my home for self-protection and it's really not their business.

     I think one thing that keeps me grounded is that Sept. 11 is never far from my mind. Adam has deployed since October of 2001, and has deployments in the double digits now. Every homecoming has been special. I've had the honor of meeting many families who didn't get to  have a happy homecoming. That weighs heavily on me, and reminds me to never take the time we have together for granted. We don't spend time fighting, or nagging. We enjoy each other; we enjoy the time we can spend with Addison as a family. There's no guarantee any of us will wake up tomorrow, yet some people seem to live with bitterness and unhappiness. Why would you choose to live that way?

     Think back to the middle of December of 2012. How horrified were we as people, as parents, to know 20 innocent children and six innocent adults lost their lives at what is supposed to be a safe haven? How many of us couldn't wait to see our child when they got off the bus, when we picked them up, when they walked through the door? Who didn't hug their kids a little tighter, and while we grieved for those in Connecticut, we also breathed a sigh of relief that it wasn't our child, that it didn't directly affect us?
    Yet life seems to go right back to normal. We are cranky when our kids piss us off, we think nothing of calling others names when we don't agree with them, we judge people by what they look like, what kind of clothes they wear, what their beliefs are, and so much more.

     I don't like the now. Why should it take a tragedy for us to be nice to others? We never know what someone else is going through on a daily basis. Maybe you randomly smiling at a stranger could make their day. Maybe it could make your own day. Let's tap back into the nice, and wipe away the hate.