January 15, 2011

How Quickly We Forget

   In a few short weeks I will have been married 19 years. I have been with my husband longer than I have been without him. We have been through a lot as a Navy family and as a couple. For the first 6 months of our marriage, we did not live together, thanks to the Navy. When we did move in together it was in a far away place, with no family close and no friends in the area. We didn't know the area and we got a crash course in getting to know each other.
   For the past 19 years we have moved almost every 3 years. We don't move across the street or to a near by neighborhood, we move across the ocean. We have bounced across the Pacific Rim together meeting new people and having new experiences. Often we are many, many miles away from family and we learned to make good friends quickly. We still have friends all over the world, for which we are so grateful.
   For many, many years he has been on Sea duty in the Navy. I would guess he's been gone more than he's been home during these 19 years. {I have often wondered- does that count as only half the years of marriage, or double them?} We were blessed with children after almost 10 years of marriage and he was lucky to be home for the first 2 years of our son's life. He was home the night our daughter was born and left at 6 am the following morning for 3 months. I brought home a preemie baby after having been on bed rest most of my pregnancy with a 6 1/2 year old son at home desperately missing my husband.
   I have been looking back this week at all of the things we have been through. I have nursed sick kids, and my sick self. I have held jobs, done volunteer work, dealt with emergencies, extended family members, attended funerals and spent more time in the ER than I care to remember while he's been gone. He's missed first steps, lost teeth, school conferences, bike riding, funerals, furnace failures, car wrecks and so much more. We have persevered. We have made it through the hard stuff and lived to tell the tail. We have cried on our own, because the other wasn't there wipe away the tears, but knew we always shared in the grief and joy. This has been an amazing marriage.
  The past 10 months Justin has been on shore duty and has been home almost every single night. We had a little adjustment period. It was hard for me to give up my running of the family on my own, and it was hard for him to give up running a division. I had to remind him that I didn't work for him and he had to remind me he lived in the house too and stop jumping every time he came into a room. He took over the grocery shopping and meal planning. We eat a lot better. I get some time to myself now and then and a break from always being the "bad" parent. It's a good arrangement.
   Here's the point of this long, long trip down memory lane... Last week I got sick. I had an infection that was backing up into my kidneys and I was down for a couple of days. He happened to be working nights all week, not our usual arrangement. He wasn't home when the kids went to bed and wasn't home to help with dinner when I needed it. He had other obligations, which I wasn't questioning. I did get a little whiny though. OK- a lot whiny. I was sick, where was he at? Then it hit me like a brick in the face. After all we had been through, how quickly we forget. In the past, while he was in a deployment cycle I would not have batted an eye about being sick with kids at home. I would have taken it in stride and not lost my temper like I did. In just 10 short months my entire perspective has changed and I have forgotten how strong I can be and how much I can do. I forgot to call on friends and church members who would have been happy to help and lift me up. How often do we do that? How often do we forget how strong we are and how the way has been provided for us to handle anything that comes our way? How loved we are and how much the Lord wants us to succeed? There's so much to remember. I hope this is one lesson I don't forget.


Our Deli-Sub said...

I think about this often! Especially when I realize (for the umteenth time) that I have fallen short or my potential as a daughter of God. I fear that it will always be that way for me.

Cristine said...

So true! What a thoughtful post.