Tomorrow (May 6th) is Military Spouse Appreciation Day, and as a new military spouse a few years ago, I probably laughed at the idea of an appreciation day just for military spouses. Today I find myself feeling the complete opposite. I can get behind absolutely any reason to celebrate the aspect of our military lives that I treasure the most, and that’s the life-long friendships I’ve made with other spouses.
A Letter to My Military Spouse Soul Sisters, With Love
Your friendship is my favorite and my least favorite aspect of our military lifestyle all at the same time. Our friendships were formed easily and rapidly, and sometimes I can’t believe that I lived so much of my life without you in it. You make my life and my family’s lives so much richer.
It’s also my least favorite because the inevitable “see ya laters” are gut-wrenching. I know they say that the tears are good because it means that you were lucky to have formed the friendships to begin with, but it’s so hard to say goodbye to people you could actually see being a part of your life for the rest of it.
When my spouse deployed you were there with a bottle of wine, a pedicure gift certificate, and a gift basket full of all my favorite treats, and even though we’d only known each other a short time, I didn’t mind letting you see my tears in my most vulnerable state. I knew you understood.
You were the ones I immediately showed my positive pregnancy tests to and who talked me through the emotion of how my life had just changed. Since then you’ve loved my babies more than I could ever have imagined.
You were there on my anniversaries and birthdays when my husband was not, showering me with simple gifts and good old fashion company, because you knew at the end of the day that your presence was what I truly needed the most.
We’ve been there to throw each other baby showers and birthday parties and to celebrate each other’s big and small victories in academics, our careers, parenting, and so much more. Thank you for making me feel celebrated and letting me celebrate you.
You celebrated with me when I found new friends at our new duty stations instead of being jealous. You understand how it feels to lack community after a recent move and that you could never be replaced. You also know my civilian best friends by name and support, encourage, and celebrate those important friendships.
Thank you for making traditional Christmas cards so much more fun. I love sending and receiving cards from all over the world (though my address book may have taken a beating from how many times I’ve rewritten your new addresses!).
Thank you to the older spouses who were in my life for potentially just a quick season; You likely played a valuable role as a mentor, encourager, and so much more.
Saying goodbyes fiercely hurt because I wish we could do life together for the long haul. You’re the ones we enjoy sitting by at church, the ones we invite over when we’ve made too much chili, and the ones I wish we could raise our kids beside (because I know you’re going to raise good ones). It seems so unfair to have found what so many people look for and to have it feel ripped away. I think it’s funny how fast we’ve shared sisterly “I love yous” and meant it.
Here’s to going the extra mile to maintaining our friendships for many years down the road, because we know each other is so worth the investment.
Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day (May 6th)! XOXO