Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Words to Live By

Military Spouse Appreciation Month

We’ve all heard the buzz words.

Resilient. Loyal. Hard-Working.  Words used to describe the ‘typical’ military spouse. Military Family Services uses them regularly (check out this video for more) and they most certainly are not wrong. We are ALL of those words.
But the truth is, most military spouses start off just as a person in love with their spouse.  The upcoming hardships are not really important, are they? In fact, they’re kind of exciting. New adventures! Opportunities for travel! It’ll be romantic! Even as an officer in the military with eyes wide open, I had great big stars in my eyes when I married my husband. I didn’t really care what it meant and how it would affect my career, my mental health, my entire existence. I was ready for the roller-coaster ride ahead.

And then, sooner or later in the first five years (more or less), it happens. Maybe more than once.  That moment when the reality sinks in.

Alone in a new location, with an interrupted career (or no career), no family, no friends and a spouse that is AWAY…the washing machine breaks, the basement floods, the car dies and your two-year old (or dog, or cat, or…), throws up all over your last set of clean sheets. The moment when some people (like me) sink down in the midst of the still-unpacked boxes and have a darned good cry.

That’s when the REAL words happen.






Kick-a**, baby-wearing, puke-cleaning, duct-tape slinging SUPER HERO.

The words that don’t often go on a resumé. Words that find us when we are at our lowest, that help us get up and push through the bad times to the many, many good times.

Words that speak truth. 

Military spouse-hood is not all smiling faces at the end of deployments, nor is it weeping faces at the beginning of them.  It’s embracing the difficult, long hours of going it on your own, and coming out okay at the end. It’s molding your personhood around the ups and downs of the military lifestyle, and carving out something that is uniquely you. Words that ADD to the resilience and loyalty and hard-working professionalism that we celebrate this month, Military Spouse Appreciation Month.

And to the almost 35,000 Canadian military spouses, they are the words that count.


Brenda and her spouse of 21 years.

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