Today is my 37th anniversary. It seems like it was just yesterday I was frantically sewing my wedding dress plus four huge, very fluffy, ruffly bridesmaid dresses. My sister called them clown dresses. We all know how sisters can be. As I pushed yards of blue fabric through the machine I tried to imagine what might lie ahead. I could not fathom where life would take me.
I never imagined having four children. As the oldest of seven I wanted a simpler mom life. But as they arrived one by one I was hooked on being a mom. Watching them grow, seeing them become their best, learning their personalities-it has been pure joy. That joy overcame those tough days when it seemed like I could never keep up and more importantly that I was failing as a mother.
I never imagined all my children choosing to serve. We did not live in a military area like I did growing up. They are all so different with unique personalities, life goals and motivations. They are definitely not clones. As each answered the call I was somewhat stunned. Surely someone would stay close by to take care of me someday! But off they went to do their duty leaving me to do mine.
I never imagined moving overseas in my fifties, much less to a war zone. There I saw things I want to forget and met people I want to remember forever. I saw first hand the purpose of my children’s deployment. I realized how very hard it is to be away from home, always on alert, and always missing loved ones. It made me more determined to make sure all of our military children are taken care of.
I never imagined life with my husband to be full of twists and turns. From Arizona to DC to Wisconsin and Ohio with stops in Dhaka and Kabul, we would finally make our Montana future come true. As I scrub away at our new home I am working toward another dream a reality-Be Safe, Love Mom retreats for military moms and eventually more folks who love someone in the military. My husband is working hard to make that all come true for me and for you.