Never Say Goodbye

Bear with me, I am about to ramble…some navel-gazing philosophizing of the worst sort, I suspect.

If you had asked me fifteen years ago whether I would marry a man who would eventually join the service, I would have told you that you were out of your mind. (Molly fancied herself a bit of an anti-authoritarian rebel back in the day)

My life is completely different from the way I imagined it back in high school, and yet I wouldn’t trade it. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of the other one, that person who took a different path, out of the corner of my eye. There’s a glint of sunlight, the smell of damp earth, the heat rising off the pavement and she’s there. Just a flicker and she’s gone…

She’s usually heading wherever the wind blows, or some other cliche straight out of a novel written well before her time, most likely while the author was under the influence of some psychoactive drug that may or may not have yet been illegal at the moment in history.

Times change, however, and here I am.

Never say never.

And never say goodbye. Everything we ever were or ever dreamed of comes along for the ride.

This is a long way of announcing that DH’s REFRAD packet (Release from Active Duty) has been approved.

Don’t drop me from your bookmarks and blogrolls, yet, though–please!

There is still clearing post, final PCS, and readjustment to civilian life fun to be had. And let’s not even talk about the fact that DH can still be called up until he has finished out his IRR commitment and resigned his commission!

Barring any monkey business, though, we will be on our way back to New York this summer.

In some ways, however, I don’t feel like we ever left. Sure, I threw myself into the whole Army Wife with abandon. I read the books, cried the tears, celebrated the joys, blogged the life, bought the t-shirt…

If DH had decided to make this his career, I would have supported him 100%. There are certainly some aspects of being a MilSpouse that I will miss.

In general we are a tight, supportive group.

Both the official policy and the zeitgeist are very pro-family, even if the job requirements aren’t always conducive to stability.

There is always something meaningful that can be done…for the husband, the families, the unit. You know, for God and Country and all that.

I can’t say I would view the prospect of another imminent deployment with great relish…but if I had to do it, I could do it, and I would do it.

Still, somewhere in the back of my mind, I suspected this was all temporary. My “real life” was waiting for me back in New York.

Except, my life has undergone so many transformations, I am not even sure what that means anymore, beyond that it involves DH and Lilah. We aren’t even moving back to one of the counties where DH and I grew up…he’s accepted an offer to be an Assistant District Attorney in a county a little further out from the city. Certainly much closer to family than we’ve been in a long while, but not we were in the neighborhood so we thought we’d drop by close.

I guess where I am going with this, if I am going anywhere at all, is that either it is all my “real life” or none of it is.

I suppose someday there will be the smell of fresh paint, or the thudding approach of a helicopter, or the unfurling of a flag, and I will spot her–drying tears and hugging someone she barely knows, hosting social gatherings and meetings, and trying to hold it together so the younger ones will take strength from her example. And she’ll look proud, and perhaps a little weary, foundation caked from when she hastily re-applied her happy face. Then, a deep cannon-like boom, and she’ll vanish.

Some days I feel like I trail these other me’s behind me, like ghosts.

On other days, I realize that all of my experiences have brought me to this moment. Whatever other paths I may not have chosen, everything I ever have or will done travels along with me on this one…not behind me, or beside me, but in everything I am.

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15 comments

  1. IMO says:

    I hope that you both will be able to transition back civilian life with ease and that IRR will be good to you :)

  2. IMO says:

    I hope that you both will be able to transition back civilian life with ease and that IRR will be good to you :)

  3. IMO says:

    I hope that you both will be able to transition back civilian life with ease and that IRR will be good to you :)

  4. IMO says:

    I hope that you both will be able to transition back civilian life with ease and that IRR will be good to you :)

  5. IMO says:

    I hope that you both will be able to transition back civilian life with ease and that IRR will be good to you :)

  6. kbug says:

    The military life will always be a part of who you are…you’ll never lose it completely. Both you and DH will stand a little taller and straighter when the flag is raised or the National Anthem is played, shed a tear when you hear Taps, recognize military folks in a crowd of civilian-dressed people, know things about the military that normal people don’t know, and you’ll teach it all to Lilah. Those of us who have been in the military or had a family member in the military are in a very exclusive family all our own that most people will never understand.

    Having come by this through my dad as well as two of my sons, I’ve really had it all my life, just not to the extent it is now. Some guys at a meeting in Vegas a few years back looked at me strangely when I knew the difference between the F-16s and the F-22s that were flying over. At an outdoor press conference in Fargo, North Dakota, near the airport, I had no idea what was being said as the Happy Hooligans (Guard) were taking off and landing in their F-16s. What a rush!!! I was totally focused on the fighters. Ask me how many Mothers Days I spent at the air show at Barksdale AFB…I wouldn’t change that for the world. I can’t count the number of people I’ve met who think that Paladins are tanks when they see them on the news. I feel like I’ve been given a wonderful gift…I think you will, too.

    My Air Force boy is crossing over into the Reserve after 9 years of active duty, so I know about PCSing and what a headache it can be. He’ll be moving home in a few weeks until he figures out flight school and a job that will work around school hours. He doesn’t even know where he’ll be stationed yet because he can’t get an answer back from the recruiter who has had his job request for three weeks or more. It ain’t easy transitioning, that’s for sure, but at least DH knows where he’s going and what he’ll be doing. Kevin’s still working on that….. :)

  7. kbug says:

    The military life will always be a part of who you are…you’ll never lose it completely. Both you and DH will stand a little taller and straighter when the flag is raised or the National Anthem is played, shed a tear when you hear Taps, recognize military folks in a crowd of civilian-dressed people, know things about the military that normal people don’t know, and you’ll teach it all to Lilah. Those of us who have been in the military or had a family member in the military are in a very exclusive family all our own that most people will never understand.

    Having come by this through my dad as well as two of my sons, I’ve really had it all my life, just not to the extent it is now. Some guys at a meeting in Vegas a few years back looked at me strangely when I knew the difference between the F-16s and the F-22s that were flying over. At an outdoor press conference in Fargo, North Dakota, near the airport, I had no idea what was being said as the Happy Hooligans (Guard) were taking off and landing in their F-16s. What a rush!!! I was totally focused on the fighters. Ask me how many Mothers Days I spent at the air show at Barksdale AFB…I wouldn’t change that for the world. I can’t count the number of people I’ve met who think that Paladins are tanks when they see them on the news. I feel like I’ve been given a wonderful gift…I think you will, too.

    My Air Force boy is crossing over into the Reserve after 9 years of active duty, so I know about PCSing and what a headache it can be. He’ll be moving home in a few weeks until he figures out flight school and a job that will work around school hours. He doesn’t even know where he’ll be stationed yet because he can’t get an answer back from the recruiter who has had his job request for three weeks or more. It ain’t easy transitioning, that’s for sure, but at least DH knows where he’s going and what he’ll be doing. Kevin’s still working on that….. :)

  8. kbug says:

    The military life will always be a part of who you are…you’ll never lose it completely. Both you and DH will stand a little taller and straighter when the flag is raised or the National Anthem is played, shed a tear when you hear Taps, recognize military folks in a crowd of civilian-dressed people, know things about the military that normal people don’t know, and you’ll teach it all to Lilah. Those of us who have been in the military or had a family member in the military are in a very exclusive family all our own that most people will never understand.

    Having come by this through my dad as well as two of my sons, I’ve really had it all my life, just not to the extent it is now. Some guys at a meeting in Vegas a few years back looked at me strangely when I knew the difference between the F-16s and the F-22s that were flying over. At an outdoor press conference in Fargo, North Dakota, near the airport, I had no idea what was being said as the Happy Hooligans (Guard) were taking off and landing in their F-16s. What a rush!!! I was totally focused on the fighters. Ask me how many Mothers Days I spent at the air show at Barksdale AFB…I wouldn’t change that for the world. I can’t count the number of people I’ve met who think that Paladins are tanks when they see them on the news. I feel like I’ve been given a wonderful gift…I think you will, too.

    My Air Force boy is crossing over into the Reserve after 9 years of active duty, so I know about PCSing and what a headache it can be. He’ll be moving home in a few weeks until he figures out flight school and a job that will work around school hours. He doesn’t even know where he’ll be stationed yet because he can’t get an answer back from the recruiter who has had his job request for three weeks or more. It ain’t easy transitioning, that’s for sure, but at least DH knows where he’s going and what he’ll be doing. Kevin’s still working on that….. :)

  9. kbug says:

    The military life will always be a part of who you are…you’ll never lose it completely. Both you and DH will stand a little taller and straighter when the flag is raised or the National Anthem is played, shed a tear when you hear Taps, recognize military folks in a crowd of civilian-dressed people, know things about the military that normal people don’t know, and you’ll teach it all to Lilah. Those of us who have been in the military or had a family member in the military are in a very exclusive family all our own that most people will never understand.

    Having come by this through my dad as well as two of my sons, I’ve really had it all my life, just not to the extent it is now. Some guys at a meeting in Vegas a few years back looked at me strangely when I knew the difference between the F-16s and the F-22s that were flying over. At an outdoor press conference in Fargo, North Dakota, near the airport, I had no idea what was being said as the Happy Hooligans (Guard) were taking off and landing in their F-16s. What a rush!!! I was totally focused on the fighters. Ask me how many Mothers Days I spent at the air show at Barksdale AFB…I wouldn’t change that for the world. I can’t count the number of people I’ve met who think that Paladins are tanks when they see them on the news. I feel like I’ve been given a wonderful gift…I think you will, too.

    My Air Force boy is crossing over into the Reserve after 9 years of active duty, so I know about PCSing and what a headache it can be. He’ll be moving home in a few weeks until he figures out flight school and a job that will work around school hours. He doesn’t even know where he’ll be stationed yet because he can’t get an answer back from the recruiter who has had his job request for three weeks or more. It ain’t easy transitioning, that’s for sure, but at least DH knows where he’s going and what he’ll be doing. Kevin’s still working on that….. :)

  10. kbug says:

    The military life will always be a part of who you are…you’ll never lose it completely. Both you and DH will stand a little taller and straighter when the flag is raised or the National Anthem is played, shed a tear when you hear Taps, recognize military folks in a crowd of civilian-dressed people, know things about the military that normal people don’t know, and you’ll teach it all to Lilah. Those of us who have been in the military or had a family member in the military are in a very exclusive family all our own that most people will never understand.

    Having come by this through my dad as well as two of my sons, I’ve really had it all my life, just not to the extent it is now. Some guys at a meeting in Vegas a few years back looked at me strangely when I knew the difference between the F-16s and the F-22s that were flying over. At an outdoor press conference in Fargo, North Dakota, near the airport, I had no idea what was being said as the Happy Hooligans (Guard) were taking off and landing in their F-16s. What a rush!!! I was totally focused on the fighters. Ask me how many Mothers Days I spent at the air show at Barksdale AFB…I wouldn’t change that for the world. I can’t count the number of people I’ve met who think that Paladins are tanks when they see them on the news. I feel like I’ve been given a wonderful gift…I think you will, too.

    My Air Force boy is crossing over into the Reserve after 9 years of active duty, so I know about PCSing and what a headache it can be. He’ll be moving home in a few weeks until he figures out flight school and a job that will work around school hours. He doesn’t even know where he’ll be stationed yet because he can’t get an answer back from the recruiter who has had his job request for three weeks or more. It ain’t easy transitioning, that’s for sure, but at least DH knows where he’s going and what he’ll be doing. Kevin’s still working on that….. :)

  11. HAIL says:

    Tell me what I can do to benefit every soldier in our military. I can’t seem to end all wars, let alone ours, so I’m up for some advice.

    Man must find a way to end war, or war will end man.

  12. HAIL says:

    Tell me what I can do to benefit every soldier in our military. I can’t seem to end all wars, let alone ours, so I’m up for some advice.

    Man must find a way to end war, or war will end man.

  13. HAIL says:

    Tell me what I can do to benefit every soldier in our military. I can’t seem to end all wars, let alone ours, so I’m up for some advice.

    Man must find a way to end war, or war will end man.

  14. HAIL says:

    Tell me what I can do to benefit every soldier in our military. I can’t seem to end all wars, let alone ours, so I’m up for some advice.

    Man must find a way to end war, or war will end man.

  15. HAIL says:

    Tell me what I can do to benefit every soldier in our military. I can’t seem to end all wars, let alone ours, so I’m up for some advice.

    Man must find a way to end war, or war will end man.

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