Monday, November 14, 2011

Careful what you wish for

A year ago possibly even longer than that I found myself giddy over the thought of Chris no longer being active duty and thrilled at the possibility we could actually become a normal family. No more TDY's, deployments, crazy hours, remote tours none of it! The thought was exciting and blissful.  Of course at the time I was still residing in Dallas and Chris in Abilene so of course anything sounded better than our current situation. A month later I would make a choice that would shake up our family dynamic and cause a bit of a stir.
At the end of January I picked up and decided to try living with my husband. At the time we knew with his MEB it would only be for a few months and we would be back in Dallas. The kids would stay with their dads and H and I would start a new home in Abilene. I figured 6 months 9 a the most we would be here and by the start of the school year even possibly Christmas we would be back and starting back at my old routine.  Around May word came down of Chris' final out date. It was then that everything started to hit me. But remember this is what I wanted I longed for the day where the government wouldn't run his life but that he could actually be in control of things.
August came and the final day of active duty hit us both like a rock. It was the first time being with Chris that I questioned if this was what we where really ready for. It was also the first time I questioned if we where going to make it. I am not proud of admitting it but until you go through this the stress that it puts on a family and a marriage is unbelievable. While I know it was hard for Chris losing this life he had lead for 14 years, the safety of a routine and structure, the "family", just the over all military life was slamming closed and not the way he envisioned it.
Now I know I have overheard, over read and even met with ladies who say emphatically how ready they are to be done with the military. There of course was a point and time where I would chime in and agree and feel that exact way. I felt that way until that day when I realized at midnight Chris would no longer put that uniform on, he wouldn't work those crazy shifts, he wouldn't go into that shop, he wouldn't leave his family for weeks or months at a time doing a job that he had grown to love so much and do so well. I felt deflated and lost. I hated seeing my husband so lost and left out of what was once his life. I felt bad because for months it was all I pushed for an wanted. I felt that in same way this was my fault that I wished so hard that it for once came true! I just remember one day looking up at the sky and shouting "Really!, after all the damn things I ever wished for and wanted this is the damn thing you listen to and follow through with! This sucks and I wish I could take it back!" Of course that wish was never granted. Go figure right?
Lately now I read about my friends who long for the day of not being military and dealing with the headaches, I read of their spouses who say I hate this job and I wish I was done. I think to myself "Man I would gladly trade you places right now, right this very second I will change places with you!" But I just calmly say " Be careful what you wish for because someday when you least expect it that wish is going to be granted and maybe you might not feel that same way when that day comes down and this life is over."
I will be honest I feel left out now. I will never get to experience another departure or homecoming of my husband, I won't get to attend family squadron functions, I will never get to attend a Air Force ball or an enlisted dining out. I know sounds pretty stupid but you know what it was things I had looked forward to and had anticipated in this military life. I will never get to experience a PCS to a great new location and have the opportunity to make up a whole new military family. But I know I will always have my Dyess family here no matter where they go. Thinking about that makes me sad though, as we stay here I know, because I am no dummy, a time will come when all these wonderful people I have come to know and love and consider my family will move on to a new location. To me that is not something I look forward to. I am so used to moving around now this whole staying put thing is not all that I thought it would be. Instead of me being the one saying good bye I am now the one people are saying good bye to. I push the thought out of my head and tell myself " Remember Dyess is the base no one leaves! Your friends aren't going anywhere this is the black hole once you come in you never go out!" Its not true but maybe if I wish for it hard enough like I did with Chris getting out of the AF maybe this one will come true also.
I know hind sight is 20/20 but man if I know then what I know now I would never made such wishes and I would be thankful for all that I have and the great opportunities Chris and I had.  I wish I could go back and change things, I wish I could take back saying the things I did. I guess maybe I need to not do so much wishing and maybe just embrace what my reality is and know that there is a plan for us, I might not know right now what it is but someone has a plan for us and sooner or later that plan will become clear and I will embrace it and only wish good things for this plan. Then again even the best laid plans have their downfalls but even those downfalls have a silver lining so I will find it embrace it and know that life happens and its not my choice to alter it.
I think since August this is the first time I have been open about how I feel about all this. It feels nice to sort of get these emotions and feelings off my chest. I think being around all these fresh out of Basic Training kids this weekend in San Antonio triggered some thoughts and emotions I had brushed off.  It was probably a good thing I saw those kids those kids this weekend because maybe it was time to get this out in the open and off my chest. I know it wasn't easy for Chris to see them and be around them. I know it brought back 14 years of memories. I am sure he wanted to grab each one of them and shake them and tell them make the most of it, enjoy it and take advantage of what is out there because one day in the blink of an eye it will be gone. 
I think maybe from now on Chris and I will be more cautious of what we wish for. I think this taught us a lesson to appreciate and value what we have. No need to rush things just to take them as they come. Life is to short and who are we to not enjoy what life has given us. At least I learned from this as I am sure Chris did and know that life can change in the blink of an eye so just be careful what you wish for.