Every day I take Evelyn and Pendleton on a walk. I have been doing this since before I was pregnant and we pretty much walk the same route around our neighborhood. The dog loves it (especially because she gets to be off the leash and run around!) and I enjoy it as well. It lets us get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine.
Today’s walk was just like the rest of them. Families outside playing at the park, couples walking their dogs and babies…I was planning on making more than one loop around the neighborhood because the baby was enjoying looking around and I figured, why not? I don’t have much else to do.
As we came around a corner a family of four approached us. The mom and dad were holding hands and pushing their younger one in a little car and the big sister rode her bike. In seeing this family, my heart broke. I was envious of their carefree time with one another. Jealous of their happiness in doing something so simple as walking together. My heart ached for my husband who was thousands of miles away and for a brief second I resented this family for how lucky they were that they were all together.
But then I realized that they weren’t lucky…they were taking their turn. It was their turn to be a family right now, just like its our family’s turn to be apart. I’m sure that they have been broken and torn just like we are, and the spouse that was left behind saw other families together and resented their happiness as well.
And that’s what the military life is about, right? Taking turns. We all take turns being apart. We all take turns being home. We take turns saying goodbye and saying hello. Crying tears of sadness and tears of joy. The best thing we can do for one another is support the families who are apart, and rejoice for the families who are together. Support and defend. Take turns.