I’ve debated whether I was going to write about this for one of my blog posts since it’s so personal and it’s still very fresh but since the assignment is to write about the scariest thing that ever happened to you and how to avoid it this is definitely the scariest thing. Unfortunately it can’t be avoided, not in military life anyways.
The scariest thing that ever happened to me was when I received a phone call at 3 am telling me my husband had been shot in Afghanistan.
Every wife who’s ever gone through a deployment knows that if a strange number ever calls your phone you pick it up no matter what time it is. So I did, not thinking anything was wrong until the caller identified himself as the commanding officer of my husband’s squadron. Honestly I don’t remember the specifics of the phone call, it’s really just a blur. So is the phone call I received about an hour later informing me my husband was going into surgery. At that point my very best friend had rushed over to sit with me and she was able to listen in on the call and tell me what was said. It wasn’t until my husband called me a few hours later that time paused and I began to breath again. I remember every single second of that conversation.
That first week was awful. The realities of this war and of what being a military wife meant had slapped me right in the face and I didn’t know how to handle it. But I had to pull it together for my 2 month old son. I owe some really great friends and my family for helping me get through those first few weeks. My husband was transferred to Germany to receive more surgery and to heal. Once he healed he was sent back to Afghanistan. He’s still there right now. It took me over a month to get over this. Who am I kidding; I’m still not over it. I don’t think I will be for a while, at least not until my husband is back home.
Although this is not something that can be avoided if you’re a military spouse, there are some things I learned that I will share with you:
- Do not under any circumstance believe the Marine liaison when he tells you your husband is coming home, wait to hear it directly from him.
- Do not get so excited that your husband is coming home that you call/text all your family and friends and post it on facebook, only to have to make a post the next day saying just kidding he’s not coming home…talk about embarrassing.
- Accept the meals offered to you by the squadron! Thank you to my FRO for not listening to me when I said no I didn’t want any meals, I can’t eat and sending them anyway. I really appreciated them when I snapped out of it and realized that I was my son’s food source and if I didn’t eat he didn’t eat.
- Try not to snap at those you love. Even though you’re angry at the world right now it’s not their fault and they’re just trying to help.
- All kinds of people will crawl out of the woodwork when something like this happens. Graciously accept their concern, even when you just want to scream at them “You haven’t talked to me in months/years, why are you so concerned about my life now!”
- Get some sleep, even though it seems impossible, so that when your friends come to visit you and see how you’re doing you don’t pass out on the couch for their entire visit.
- Lastly, hug and kiss and tell those that you love that you love them every single day because life is so very short!