August 4, 2011

Warning: This is a long one

This post will be a tad bit scatterbrained as I'm feeling a bit.. well.. scatterbrained. It's just been one of THOSE days. You know one where I've had to collect specimen samples from my child so of course he wouldn't poop. Until the most inopportune moment when he went while I was driving, dug into his diaper and proceeded to smear it all over his body and eat it. YUM. So of course if spread to me.. and the carpet upstairs... and I called my husband crying and letting him know that I would not, after all, be joining him for his Hail and Farewell tonight. Since you know.. the baby has had ONE 15 minute nap at this point, I haven't showered since Tuesday morning and I now have poop in my hair.

There. I feel much better. (and don't worry.. I've showered by now)

On to the real topic of the day. Back to the subject of friends, which, I know, I've touched on many times. But here it is again.

When I moved away from hometown, SC, I already had my tight knit group of friends. I've never had a problem finding people and forcing them to be my friends, but when I moved away,  I never ever suspected I'd be as blessed as I am sitting here now. I had a lot to learn when it came to the ways of the military.

Friendships - real, true, amazing friendships - form very quickly. Of course, you don't have that instant bonding with EVERYONE you meet, but it happens a lot. See, you don't have quite as long as the normal person would to forge a friendship. People come and go and you never know when. You meet someone, you click, and you don't know how long you'll have together.
You need them. You need these people, you need these friendships. You are thrown into a totally foreign (to you) place and only have the people you live with. You need people to bring you up when you are down (because you WILL have your down moments), to grab a cup of coffee or a cocktail with you, to vent to, to laugh with, to tell you that you should absolutely NOT walk out of this house with those jeans on, to have play dates with, to give you some adult conversation, to hold your hand through hard times. The list just goes on and on and on.
You have to have people to depend on. Because, honestly, you can't depend on your significant other 95% of the time. I don't say that with any bitterness at all, so I don't want it to read that way, but it's true. I know Trey would drop everything for us if he could, but I also am fully aware that Army comes first and he didn't make that rule up. He hates it, but it's a fact. We knew that from the beginning. He's either in meetings, in the field, training to deploy, or deployed. So, no, he can't come home out of the field and take care of the baby while you have a stomach bug and can't leave the bathroom. But, you have 5 girlfriends volunteering to take you to the hospital, take the baby for the night, bring you soup, gingerale or crackers.
You need people who understand the things you go through without having to explain anything. I LOVE my friends back home and they know that. But this would be 100% more difficult if I were still back home while Trey did his Army thing. I don't mean to sound like I'm in some secret society or anything, sometimes I feel like that's how I sound, but as much as I've always had friends that were there for me, it's different in this world. Everyone else's lives still go on. Their husbands would be home every night to have dinner with them and relax with. I have some girlfriends who, usually, it works out that their husbands are not coming home on the same nights mine isn't. Instant girls night!! It's great. But we also understand when plans are ditched at the last minute, because, "YAY my husband's coming home".
You need people to not look at you like you are a complete loon if you randomly break out in tears because you miss your mom and dad SO VERY MUCH. And people to step in and take that roll when your real mama can't! (Hi Sue and Maridee).

I've been lucky enough to meet a great group of girls like that.  I really do count my blessings. I've also been lucky to not have to say, "See you later" to any of them.. until now. I've only known Melissa IRL for a few short months.. just for the summer. But now she is gone and let me tell you.. I felt that goodbye like I was losing a friend I've had my whole life. We bonded.. and we bonded very quickly. The two of us, plus Jaci, had the best time together over the summer. Now she's headed back to law school and (not to sound too dramatic.. it's just the truth) I've felt like I've had this little hole in my heart for the past few days. I will always miss her in my life (until we're stationed in the same area again), but I do realize how lucky I am to have met such an awesome person.. someone who I will always consider a great friend.

Nancy and I had a great conversation about this lately, plus Trey and I were laying in bed the other night, talking about all of these people that have come into our lives. It's crazy when you really think about it.  What if we never left hometown, SC? How can it just be a random thing that our paths crossed with the people that it has. Two years ago I would have never imagined this. That I'd have these wonderful friends that are more like family. That I'd open myself up to and have true friendships with people from Oklahoma, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, Arizona, Wyoming of all places (sorry.. but not many people know someone from Wyoming).. all over the country.

Of course I do miss back home. But I'm thankful for all this. I'm thankful for the opportunity I've had to broaden my horizons. To meet and become close to the people that I have. Without this crazy, sometimes inconvenient, life that we live now, I would never have known this was out here.

I'll say it again at the risk of pooping out butterflies... I'm truly truly blessed!

On somewhat of the same note, this has been weighing heavily on my heart lately, so I thought I'd share and ask for prayers. I know of so many girls right now that have either just said "see you later" to their husbands for a deployment or who will be VERY very soon. It's the first time that I've been so close to people that are going through it and seeing it happen the whole way out. (hearing they'll be leaving, watching them get ready, counting down the days, etc.) and it's heartbreaking, but also makes me very proud to know them at the same time. It's going to be a hard year for some of my dear friends.. please keep them in your prayers and I promise to do the same!


JG said...

Haha..."Not many people know someone from Wyoming." That cracks me up.

It's so true, what you say. I'm not one of those people that "collects" friends easily (even though facebook would imply otherwise). And there are several friends we've made on this Army journey who I feel like I've known my entire life, and I can't imagine my life without now, like you and Melissa. We knew joining the Army would mean leaving a lot behind, but we had no idea how much we would be gaining as well.

Sue Brandon said...

Ok....if I could figure out a way...I'd adopt you in a our own way...we already have. As all of you come into our lives, we have learned that it's hard to have all of you move on. Please know that we will always be here for you. Now...please pass the kleenex.

Just Ask Beth said...

and guess what Muffin... they feel the same way about you!! You are a perfect "ARMY" family and I am so proud of the woman you have become!!

Kate said...

Your description of the bond between military wives was spot on!

MommyTaco said...

I'm from New Mexico! Around here, that's not so uncommon, but if you ask anyone who isn't from either West Texas or Arizona, they don't even know that we're a part of the U.S.

And yes, we do feel the same way about you - you've been a welcomed blessing in our lives, I'm *SO* glad that you became a Stitcher!!

Certainly praying for our Soldiers leaving and the families they leave behind. It's been weighing on me really really hard lately too. Can't even look at Facebook that much without bursting into tears.

C. E. Welch said...

It's very true. Most of the people I know here have me as their "person from Wyoming" in their list. Hehe.

See you in a little bit!

Ashleigh said...

I'm so so very glad to read this. I want you to be happy, and I'm glad you are :) I remember you leaping into this Army life, completely unsure of anything. I'm so glad to have witnessed this transformation <3