Thursday, August 18, 2011

Made of Sterner Stuff

That's part of being a military spouse, that fact that we are made, of necessity, of sterner stuff. My father used to ask how I could say goodbye with a smile on my face, he was proud of me that I could. I told him that I could because that's what we do. That is what is required. We see our sailors off and we smile. Then we cry our eyeballs out the whole way home - but NEVER where he can see. I always wanted my sailor to remember my smile and I wanted my father to as well.

I can't understand women who moan and complain because they have to move one time in their life. They let their children wallow in misery and sadness over something that can't be controlled or changed. Worse, they let their children wallow in misery over a conscious choice that they have made, or allow themselves to. I just don't understand it. My husband tells me that I don't understand this because I have had to move so many times in my life, and I guess that he is right. It's hard to move. It certainly isn't my favorite thing to do but sometimes it has to be done. What good does boo-hooing do? Especially in public - wallowing in self pity and letting everyone see you. I can't fathom it.

I was sad when we left our last duty station. I won't lie and tell you that I didn't cry, but not in public. I cried and still cry when I think about my students that I left behind and the friends that I miss. But deep down I know that new friends don't replace the friends left behind and a move doesn't mean the loss of a relationship. It just means you have to work a little harder to maintain it. Every place is an adventure, part of the life journey and every person you met a potential friend. I feel blessed for all the various places that I have lived, the people that have traveled in and out of my life and the strength that this experience has given me. The strength doesn't appear to apply when listening to other women whine. Sometimes I have an almost uncontrollable urge to say, "Suck it up, buttercup". My fellow Navy wives, I'm sure, will understand. It's like listening to some housewife complain because her husband is gone for three days golfing and she doesn't know how she is going to cope without him and what in the world will she do with her kids? I'm glad I'm made of sterner stuff and me and my children, oh yeah, three days wouldn't even register. (Not really, anyway.)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Ways the World Has Changed

It's been two years since my Dad passed. On one hand it seems like yesterday and on the other, it feels like he's been gone forever. I miss him and think of him everyday. I was thinking about the ways the world has changed since he has been gone. It's amazing how much really. For example:

Two years ago the discussion was about the public option. My father dreaded the Healthcare bill and was vehemently opposed to it. I'm glad he can't see our current debacle. It would kill him to know that the country he loved so much and fought so hard for is in such bad shape. I doubt the downgrade in our credit status would surprise him, but it would disappoint.

Two years ago, Obama's approval rating was at 53%. It's down to 42% now, an encouraging sign that people are waking up to the political games both parties play. Before he died, my Dad convinced me to change my affiliation to Independent. He believed that parties were a large part of what is wrong with our country and our political system. I may not be able to vote in most primaries, but I'm not in any party's pocket so to speak.

Speaking of Approval ratings, Congress sat at a record low - 31% in 2009. It's fallen to under half of that now. Pathetic really.

The Tea Party was a political movement in it's infancy. Now, for good or for ill, it's a major player.

Two years ago, there was no Ipad. That is a big change in our house. Although my husband is the only one in our family with one, he loves it and uses it everywhere for everything. Now even Apple is getting a little competition as other companies catch on to the Tablet craze.

We still had three Harry Potter movies to look forward to. Harry has been a big part of my family since 2003, when I read the first book. Since then, he and his friends have become a staple in our home. Our daughters love the books and often talked with my Dad about the characters. Now, Harry's time is done and I wonder who will rekindle the magic of reading for the next generation.

We were still waiting for justice for the murder of 3000 of our fellow countrymen. Osama bin Laden was still at large. I know if my Dad could see one thing other than his family, this is an event that he would love to have looked down from Heaven upon.

These are just a few ways the world has changed. My family has changed as well.
I went back to school and got my masters degree in Education. I know my Dad would have been proud. He always said that an Education is the one thing that no one can take from you. Now my husband is going back for his PhD. I guess we both took my father's advice to heart.

My Daughter's are two years older, but they still miss their Pappy. We talk about my Dad and tell funny stories all the time. I always want my children to know the man my Dad was. They remind me every day that those we love are never really gone.

We're back in Maryland now. I know that would have made my Dad happy. He loved the Naval Academy and he knew that we wanted to make Maryland our home. Now that has happened. So many changes and yet, somethings are always the same.

I love you Dad and you will forever be my hero.