My first real Army wife friend is awesome. I still talk to her and keep up and work to see her even nearly 15 years later. One day she said to me, “I see your crazy” and it was the most liberating thing I had ever heard. I knew exactly what she meant. She saw me for all that I was (good and bad) and still she was willing to be my friend. Whew.
We have done the adventurous and the mundane together. We have laughed and cried. We have supported each other. We scream at the wind together. But most of all, we are just there for the other person even when we are not there.
She was also my first deployment friend. Now this was pre-Afghanistan when deployments were not all bad. Our husbands were not getting shot at. In fact, they were sunning on the beach and SCUBA diving. But still, we were left alone without husbands, without FRGs, without a way of knowing how to do this. We muddled through. We did it pretty well too. But our coping mechanism was just that…it’s not like they are deployed, they are at the beach.
With 9-11, that all changed. My coping mechanism didn’t work. We struggled through deployments thinking we were the only ones that ever said this is scary and hard and I hate it.
Then one day my friend emails me a link to a blog. She says, "You gotta read this. They are saying out loud all those things we used to whisper about." I read everything there and thought at the end, wow...this is me; I am home. I have stalked them ever since. I would read and reread whenever I was troubled. I would cry and scream with them. I would shake my head and think yes…exactly…that. I am sure you have guessed by now that this is the blog that Melissa and Chris started.
What is important is that HWHV became one of those friends for me. We don’t talk every day. Sometimes I go months without hearing the words. Then one day, I will need it or it will call me back, and as if no time has passed, we cling to each other. Sometimes the words tell me it is ok to stay in my tree. Other times I am shoved off the branch to get on with things. Here, my crazy is ok and even welcomed…and so is yours.