Saying goodbye during military life is the norm. Saying goodbye is never easy to do. Whether you are saying goodbye to your spouse before a long deployment, a best friend who is pcsing somewhere new, or to a season of your life, that you know is about to change.
We say goodbye when what we really want to say is don’t go.
We say goodbye when our heart is breaking over who we are saying goodbye to.
We say goodbye and then think, maybe see you later would be a better way to leave things.
As a military spouse, we say goodbye but we also get to say hello.
We say hello to new friends in a new neighborhood.
We say hello to a new way of life, miles from where we grew up.
We say hello to adventures and new memories, to lands we have never dreamed of.
As deployment orders come, we know the goodbye is in our future. We know that are days before the goodbye are limited. And we know that the day we have to say those words is going to be difficult for us to get through.
Then the day comes. They have to go, they have no choice. The military has to come first, and this time, she is blazing in, taking our loved ones away for a period of time.
But then, after the goodbye, maybe days after, maybe weeks. We figure out how to get through. We military spouses can’t live in the goodbye, we need to find our inner strength to make it through the time apart.
As friends tell us they are leaving. As they let us know the last day they can hang out with us. As they get excited about a new home, knowing that before they get there, we will have to say goodbye.
And during that last hug, we wonder when we will meet again. Will we have that meet-up next year? Will we stay in touch like we are promising? Is this truly a goodbye or more of a see you later.
Friends come and go during our military years. Some we still talk to, on a daily basis. Others fade into our memories, bringing us back to how life used to be.
We know we will always have the chance to meet new people. Maybe in a Facebook group, or at an online event. Maybe at an FRG meeting or even the local playground. And when we do, we hope that we will never truly have to say goodbye, no matter where the military road might take us.
We know seasons change, and our kids won’t stay young forever. We have to say goodbye to the way things were and move on to the way things are today. Knowing, that someday, this season will be over too.
We change as people, as the years go by. Everything we experience in life shapes us into our present selves. Deployments, and moves and hellos, and goodbyes. As the years pass by, we learn from our mistakes and see what we can do to be better prepared in the future.
Life in our 20s is different than life in our 30s and 40s. So many goodbyes and focusing on just those would be easy to do. But as a military spouse, focusing on the hellos and the new memories we will make can help us get to a better place, even if that is hard to do sometimes.
Saying goodbye during military life is a part of the deal. We know this, and we prepare. But saying hello to new adventures, new friends, and new experiences can be how we are able to handle this military life. We take the good with the bad and make the best of what we can.