I have been blessed over the years with the most incredible friends. I have mentioned before that it is the biggest perk of being a military spouse. We may be thrown together into a spouse meeting with little introduction and no direction, but we not only make it work, we create life long bonds. Some friendships are instant and strong, others are slow and need time to blossom. I have had both and every thing in between. But, one friendship has stood out from them all.
It started a couple of years ago when started volunteering on base. I was sitting in an office and a woman came in looking flustered and sat down across from me. She started talking about her kids and life in general. Her name was Amy and the first thought I had of her was that she was funny. She made me laugh and I would get lost in her stories.
Soon, we were chatting at lunch and making each other laugh so hard. We started making sure that we volunteered on the same days, we went shopping on our free days, and we met with our kids to just relax. Every day that went by, we became closer. Not only did we get along, but also we adored each other’s spouses and children and our husbands became friends. It’s every milspouses dream friendship.
Soon, we were inseparable. We volunteered together, we spent our family nights together, we were a set.
Amy became my sister. She is the only one that could look at me and tell me that I was being stupid and I knew she was most likely right. I could tell her what I really thought of the shirt she had on and we could argue anything but in the end, we loved each other like family. We are family. And what is sad is that I didn’t realize what I had until it was gone. Just this August, Amy moved to Japan. She had no idea that after I looked so excited for her to get the orders that she wanted, I went home to my husband and cried. “What will I do without Amy?” I asked my husband. “Oh, I don’t know, replied my husband . . .Maybe spend more time with ME!?” He was teasing and made me smile. I just couldn’t imagine my life without her and even though we are in the Navy, I just never thought ahead to this day.
I don’t know what my life would be without Amy. But I am finding out. I was in complete denial even though I was there with the movers and helped her set up the air bed when there was nothing left in the house. For some reason, I just couldn’t grasp the idea of not having family game nights and our random phone calls.
But then, she was gone. I pouted for weeks. I would want to pick up the phone when something funny happened, and I couldn’t. Well, I could, but I don’t think she would see the humor in my story at 2AM her time.
Finally we are getting used to it and haven’t lost a beat since. We try to talk daily, but with the time difference it can be challenging.
Milspouse friendships are one of a kind. We have connections with each other that are strong and unique. We are able to become friends while waiting on a sub to arrive at homecoming or standing in line at the commissary. We may not have the luxury of having years to get to know one another, but we know going into a room at an FRG meeting that everyone surrounding us “gets it”. There is a quiet understanding that we all share. And it’s something that we have that gives us an edge when making friends. These friendships can become as strong or stronger than what you have with your biological family. Our military friends are family that we choose. They understand us when no one else can. And they are here for us when family can’t be.
Don’t let the opportunity to make these connections pass you by. Meet the wives of your husband’s co-workers. Yes, this means you actually have to go to a function or family support meeting. It won’t hurt you, I promise. Go; meet other women that are going through what you are going through. They will be the ones there for you before family can even book a flight. And they will understand why you are hurting because email just isn’t enough. And finally don’t limit yourself to wives in your husbands command. It doesn’t matter what her husband does, if she is a military spouse, she already knows you better than most. I met Amy volunteering on base. And now, I have a life long friend and sister. And I can’t imagine my life without her.
I hope that each and every one of you will have an “Amy” in your life.
Do you have questions, comments, or topics that you would like Marie to discuss?
E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
“A military spouse is Anything but a Dependent”