Sadly enough, the military wives, who have probably gone through exactly this entire “girlfriend experience” before are often the reason that the girlfriends aren’t taken seriously. They are then excluded from that much-needed military community that helps you deal with all the questions running through your head: “Am I crazy for moving to be with this person?” “How the heck am I supposed to feel during a deployment?” “How can I relate to people who have no idea what I’m going through?”
Moving to Hawaii and only being engaged at the time (often still not taken as seriously as a “wife”), I was fortunate to be accepted into a group of wives from the boat who didn’t look down on me for being engaged and who also didn’t look down on the girlfriends.
Being a non-mom (other than to my wonderful only-dog-child at the time, Maggie), I still wasn’t sure how to relate to all the wives with kids.
I always felt beyond awkward waitressing because whenever I had a table with little babies, the other waitresses were always drooling over them and asking “Oooh! How old!?” while making cooing sounds and turning to mush. I would smile awkwardly in the background and ask quietly if they were ready to order yet.
(Also, don’t think I don’t want kids someday. I definitely do. We definitely do. But we just got married, and I’ve barely spent a month with him as a married couple. Especially with military, since we lose so much of that much-needed couple time, I think it’s completely acceptable to wait a while to have kids and enjoy that time together as a couple before things completely change forever.)
When I first came to Hawaii I hit it off with one of the boat wives in particular who was also not a mom, like me. Molly and I became really close over the course of the 2 months before deployment.
About a month or so before the boys left for deployment, Molly found out she was pregnant. While neither of us are really “kids” people per say, Molly knew she wanted kids and knew the timing was right to have them since she and her husband were going to be leaving Hawaii a few months later to go to California for two years. Her husband was to attend school there for the Navy, which would mean no deployments or 24 hour duty shifts for 2 years. Just nice, easy hours and perfect timing to have a child and be around to spend time with a little one.
It was really interesting for me to be friends with someone who was going through a pregnancy. I’ve never had a pregnant friend before. (I know that sounds funny…sorry!) I’ve never learned firsthand all the things one goes through while she is pregnant. I’m really happy that I got to know Molly before she was pregnant and during- it was such an educational experience!
Molly and her husband left the boat and Hawaii behind about two weeks ago. She was due to have her baby on Christmas day, but someone had other plans. Last week she delivered a tiny little creature. I saw the pictures on Facebook and my first thought was, “Whose baby is that?”
I feel so sad in so many ways that I’m not there to actually see the little one in person. But I feel even sadder now that it’s hitting me that Molly is really gone.
See, I’m learning this is just part of military life. Meeting new awesome friends, seeing their lives change for better and for worse, growing close with someone- only to let them go as you or they move a few months later to the next location.
Thank God for social networking. It’s such a great way to keep in touch with people that sometimes it helps you stay in denial about those people really being gone from your life. Not that they’re really ever gone.
And the nice thing I hear with military life is that often you run into people at different locations and stages in their life later down the road. That gives me something to look forward to at least.
But maybe everyone is really just brought into your life for a certain period of time for a reason. I’m so thankful for having Molly as a friend here because I think she was the perfect narrator and friend to guide me through to military life- and even through knowing what it was like to be pregnant!
She helped me come out of my shell to the other ladies. She showed me it was okay to still stay me throughout becoming a military wife- I didn’t have to change who I was to make my husband look good. I could still keep a slightly sarcastic approach to military life and make jokes at it sometimes. Molly helped me grow as a person since I’ve started life here. And for that I will be eternally thankful.
But I still need to keep in mind that everyone we meet we meet for a reason. I do think I was meant to become friends with Molly. God knew that was what I needed in my life when I came here.
People like Molly have to move on though because other people need them in their lives too. Maybe someone in California is in need of a friend who understands them, and Molly will become her friend and help her along her way too.
I also hope that I can continue to grow and make friends in and out of the military community and to hopefully touch someone else’s life the way that Molly touched mine.
Whooops, things just got a little emotional.
My writing teacher in college introduced me to an amazing quote. Just like my writing teacher was there to push me to find myself through writing (and to find this amazing quote with which to relate), Molly was there to push me to be who I am at this very moment, living life right here in Hawaii.
“I am a part of all who I have met.”
-Lord Alfred Tennyson
I’m thankful to everyone who has come into my life, the good and the bad who has an impact on me and who I am today. And I’m especially thankful to Molly in this case for helping me grow as a person and as a military wife when I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I hope that someday we can meet again, maybe when I have kids of my own and she can teach me how to do that too!
But until then, thanks. :)