ResiliencyA,A doesn't mean being a superhero
April 21, 2011
FORT DRUM, NY -- You may have heard the word "resiliency" used a lot in the Army and in Family programs recently, but what does resiliency mean'
I always associated the term with being strong and tough despite going through hard times, but during the past few months, I think I might have changed my mind.
April officially marked the halfway point into my husband's deployment. I definitely have some mixed emotions - I'm dreading the fact that there are six long months before we're finally reunited, but I'm excited that we're over the "hump."
If I can make it this long, I can make it the next six months, right'
You might be thinking "oh, but you have mid-tour leave to look forward to," but we don't. When my husband left, I was almost nine months pregnant. He used his 15 days of leave as soon as he was able, leaving us with another 10 months apart.
At my husband's drop-off last fall, a friend of mine, whose husband is in the same unit, was there with her Soldier and three children, all under 5 years old. She wasn't crying, but she was obviously trying to make the most of their last few minutes together. She was being strong for her children and her husband.
I'll admit, seeing my husband off six months ago was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I was already emotional because of the pregnancy, but when you add the stress of deployment to the mix, I was a mess. I was going to have a baby without my husband; I was terrified.
Dropping my husband off at the airport two months later was hard and I was sad to see him leave, but our son was healthy and happy, and I knew a new baby was definitely going to keep me busy and distracted.
My friend recently went home to visit her family for an extended vacation and was reunited with her Soldier during his mid-tour leave. She sent me a text last week asking if she could stop by my house.
It had been almost two months since I'd seen her, and I was excited to catch up. She hadn't made it through the doorway before she broke down crying. This woman, who I've always seen as being a strong and independent person, let it all go.
We all have those moments when we just need to cry. I think it's healthy to let your emotions free, especially during a stressful period in your life - like a deployment. It's OK to put on a brave face, but you can't wear it all the time because we aren't one-sided individuals. We have ever-changing moods.
When you're stressed and in a constant state of worry, sometimes one solitary moment or event can push you over the edge. I believe being resilient means letting yourself cry. Have your moment. When you're done, wipe off the tears and go on.
Being part of a military Family is rewarding, but it comes with big responsibilities - juggling work, Family and life - all while trying to take care of yourself. We live our lives day to day, doing everything we can to hold it all together until our Soldiers come home.
In a way, the time and distance between a Soldier and his or her spouse makes that moment when they are reunited so worth it.