“When will he come home?”, “Will he be here for my party?”, “He won’t deploy again for a while, right?” We’ve all gotten them. The never ending, sometimes prying questions that force us to stop for a moment and collect ourselves. Questions that strike us as being so insensitive or disconnected, that we genuinely wonder why someone would ask. Throw in the occasional, “How do you do it?”, and you’ve covered all your bases.
When I was still very new to this military lifestyle, I asked my fair share of silly questions, all of which Kyle tried to answer with as much patience as he could. Over time, I started to figure it out myself. I learned the questions that really needed a “Yes” or “No” answer, like “Is your uniform clean?” or “Did you get those papers signed?” And I learned the questions that I could simply answer myself, because many of them had no answer.
Over time, my list of questions got much shorter while others got longer. Someone finally asked me, “Aren’t you worried it won’t last?” And worse, they waited for my response. But those aren’t the questions that keep me up at night. Those aren’t the ones that keep me lost in thought, unexpectedly. There are only a few, but these are the questions we ask ourselves as military spouses.
Am I strong enough?
Am I strong enough to overcome this separation, and be the person that he always needs? Am I strong enough to conquer tomorrow, and all the days I’ll have without him? Am I strong enough to balance everything that this life throws at me, and not make him worry about what’s going on at home? Am I strong enough to put on a brave face, every day, even when I would rather crawl in a hole? Am I strong enough to keep pushing forward, when such a big part of my heart is 6000 miles away?
Am I doing this right?
Am I giving him everything he needs? Am I the best support system I can be? Am I the “proper” military spouse? What is considered proper? Should I send more care packages? Less? Am I telling him too much about my day? Am I not asking enough about his? Am I doing enough for him overall?
What will it be like when he comes home? Will he be the man I fell in love with, or someone unrecognizable? Will he want to stay in, or will he let his contract end? Most importantly, will he be okay?
Love is a powerful, immeasurable thing. It makes those silly questions bearable most days, but sometimes it’s the very thing that makes them hurtful too. Because the only questions that truly matter to me are the three I’ve listed here. Those are the three I come back to; the ones that I wonder about when I’m having a bad deployment day, or when I imagine our future beyond the military. I don’t sit up at night and wonder, “How do you do it?”, because I’ve always known.
What questions have you gotten being a military spouse? Have you asked yourself any of these?