It’s amazing the impact one person can have on your life.
A little over a year ago, F left for Officer Training School down at Maxwell AFB in Alabama. I took him to the airport and went with him to the gate. We sat there, waiting for him to board, and I clung to him in any way possible. My stomach flopped and I fought off nerves; I was terrified of him leaving because I had no idea what to expect. I still can clearly remember him standing in line to board the plane, tears streaming down both of our cheeks. And, just like that, he was gone for 3 months. It was our first separation and the beginning of our Air Force life. Since then a lot has changed but I still haven’t come to fully love the military lifestyle. If given the choice, I would still gladly pick going home over being here. Then I met this little old lady. She changed everything.
Thursday of last week, I had a bunch of errands to run on base. One errand was to swing by the pharmacy to get more eye drops for F, who had PRK eye surgery about a month ago. While I was waiting for the prescription to get filled, I sat down next to this little old lady and her middle-aged daughter. Somehow a conversation started up between us and, suddenly, I felt like I was talking to the future me. She told me about when her husband joined the Air Force and how she would cry all the time because she was very close to her mom and missed her a lot. Everything she said sounded exactly like how I feel. The more she talked, though, the clearer it became that, while she started out rough, she ended up growing to love the Air Force life. She told me that her husband stayed in for 27 years and, looking back, she wouldn’t have changed a thing. She was so pleasant and truly a strong military wife.
When we finally parted ways I found myself walking back to my car feeling a lot more confident in this lifestyle. Maybe it’s not exactly how I envisioned my future but, here I am, a military wife and, that day, I became determined to make the most out of it so that, someday, I can be that little old lady in the pharmacy telling a new military wife that it’s going to be okay. I will probably never see that little old lady again but I am convinced she was my angel, put there on purpose to help me see that, truly, everything is going to be okay.