Every year, without fail, I have to answer the question that i’m sure every military spouse around the world is asked. “How do you do it?” And of course, they aren’t asking “How do you make that awesome casserole?” or “How do you get wine stains out of the carpet?” No, unfortunately what they are asking falls more in line with: “How do you say good-bye to your spouse over and over again without completely falling apart?” Or “How do you handle the kids, the house, your job, the unexpected repairs all by yourself?” or (and this one is probably the worse of the implied questions) “How do you stay married to a man that is always gone?”
I will be honest, I never feel like I have a good answer for them. Usually i’m slightly embarrassed or just shocked that they don’t understand what they are implying. So my normal response is to throw humor at it and say “Wine, lots and lots of wine. Did you bring any?” However, deep down, I too sometimes wonder “How do I do it? What is it that makes me time and again pick myself up, wipe away the tears and kiss him goodbye?” Well, I think I finally found the answer and maybe if you’re wondering what it is that keeps you going, will find the answer fits you too.
It’s my purpose.
Plain and simple, at the core of who I am as a person, as a woman, I fully believe it is my purpose in life to love a man who will always leave me. Not that he wants to, not that he desires in any way to see me hurt or cry- but just as it is my purpose to love him, it is his purpose to serve a greater cause.
More than just being a mother, a wife, a daughter and a friend. More than whatever titles, tag-lines, or hashtags I apply to myself. Stripped away of all of those things that make up and define me, I am simply a woman that loves a man who for the brother to the left and right of him, for a country that he loves, for his family and his friends, will always leave her.
So when you’re faced with this question again, as I’m sure we all will be at some point, perhaps the better answer to “How do you do it?” is simply to say, “How can I not?”
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