A month in to this separation period and we’ve survived this far! OK so there seems to be bump in the road of some description each week but I am becoming a pro again at dusting myself off and marching on, it’s just remembering how, but it is coming back to me.
I am always reminded when I am flying solo that the network you have around you is SO important, it is your lifeline at that moment in time, in that chapter of your life. I wanted to write a post and share some of my experiences of friendships in this military life that I have had and how important they have been in my patchwork of adult life.
I live by the motto you have friends for a season, a reason and a lifetime…
Way back in 2002 I was a soldier living in Germany, a pregnant soldier for that matter and my husband was deployed to the Iraq war. Anyone who was in the military community at that time knows that particular war and that early Telic deployment was so so hard, no contact at all you just watched the news in tears everyday. I was young, living in a foreign country, didn’t have my family around and all my friends had deployed! My husband and I served in the same regiment and there was a guardian angel that came into my life at that very low point in the shape of the Battery Captains wife. Sandra was like a surrogate mum to me, a friend I could rely on who completely took me under her wing and I feel so emotional writing and remembering all she did for me; took me to my scan appointments, came to my antenatal classes, sat and hugged me when I was scared and we even spent Christmas day together one year.
That amazing lady isn’t in my life any more but she was in it for a reason and I am so thankful.
Over the years I have learnt that some friendships in the military community can be really intense, especially when we have been based overseas and especially over long deployments. You speak on the phone ten times a day even though you are neighbours, you go food shopping to the Naafi together and share every single thing that happens in your life at that time with each other. At that moment, in that chapter those friendships are really important and often become your lifeline because you are living the same life, the same challenges and being with others that understand is the best tonic. You are stronger with each other.
I don’t speak to all those people all the time now but they have all got a fond place in my heart because for that time, these friends for a season were my lifeline.
I have never been massively in the thick of it in the military communities I have lived because I was serving, after I got out I worked full time and now my child is a teenager so don’t mix with others at this posting as no opportunity to.
Right now in the present my rocks are my lifelong friends, the ones I have know since I was at school or there abouts, the ones that know me better than anyone, the ones that no matter where in the world I have been based they have visited, they have been there sending me love, support and picking up the phone to my tears and I am lucky that these girls are locationally not that far from me and can be in my every day life currently. Last week wasn’t the best as you may have read from previous post but I saw all three of my best friends at certain points and I felt emotionally refueled and ready to face the world again.
To those lifers, thank you.
Whatever your current military situation you absolutely need a support network, you need someone who is right there with you for strength and for comfort. Go knock on your next door neighbour or post a note saying “Lets drink wine” just this Sunday my neighbour and her adorable little boy came and we ate a roast and crumble, we exchanged stories of not sleeping, how much we hate Sundays alone and how we haven’t had calls and all was good in the world again. Don’t under estimate the power of a friendly face, even one you may not know very well.
|Crumble and a friendly face makes a solo Sunday better
Friendships come in all shapes and sizes, some are for seasons some are for reasons and some are for a lifetime but all are important in this military life we live, being strong constantly can be tiring and having a support network of some form is important for you and your well-being. You will look back in years to come and remember those people and smile, just like I do and be thankful they were there at that time in your life. Have an open mind and an open heart, let people in and be there for others, it will lead to your own colourful patchwork of life and memories.
Here’s to friendship, of all shapes and sizes.
Love Louise xxxx