A Heart to Heart from One MilSpouse to Another on Military Spouse Appreciation Day
- By Guest Contributor and Military Spouse, Missy Lum
Standing in the middle of our flooded sunroom, I watched my two rain-gear-clad children jump, squeal, splash, and slide all over our vinyl floor. Six weeks after we moved into our Alaska home, my husband deployed to Guam. He sent a picture of his team at the beach, while I sent back a picture of our broken furnace, flooded sunroom, and a screenshot of our -20° temps. That first Alaskan winter, our primary heat source quit, pipes froze and burst, and we lost electricity for a full week.
That was a hard time, but looking back, a few things stand out:
Picking up a pizza the night our pipes burst. The kids and I spent that crazy evening with a new military spouse friend. Her warm welcome and heat-filled home provided security, safety, and a much-needed respite.
My next-door neighbor, a Gold Star Military Spouse, always encouraged me with her never-ending strength and faith. Her porch light shining through the cold dark days gave a visual reminder we were never alone.
A Thanksgiving invite by another new military spouse friend. This invite kickstarted a tradition of Thanksgivings for the next several years rotated between homes, depending on whose spouse was gone.
Showers in another’s home, snacking on her experiment- flour-free peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.
A book and journal to jot down my blessings, left at my front door by another.
Countless texts complaining to my tried-and-true buddies who lived thousands of miles away, knowing they understood it all.
These people have one thing in common. They are military spouses. That winter was hard, but in the hard, I had a team surrounding me. I still do. This team is full of beautiful people who naturally care for one another. This is who we are. It’s what we do.
My life is better because of you, military spouses. On Military Spouse Appreciation Day, a thank you seems insufficient. You’ve added value to my life, picked me up by the bootstraps so to speak. You’ve encouraged me through the ups and downs.
My heartfelt note to you – Keep showing up, offering the comfort of your home for showers, pizza, cookies, and heat. Keep encouraging one another, and arranging those playdates (even if only to speak with another adult). Keep sending those text messages, leaving those books, flowers, candles, and meals by doors.
We are better together. In this community, you are never alone. We stand side by side, arms linked, ready to face whatever mayhem and madness deployments, TIDYs, and rotations bring. We are battle buddies and I’m so proud to stand next to you.
Author Bio: Missy Lum is a proud Army spouse of 18 years. She has traveled the world with her favorite soldier, 2 amazing teenagers, and larger-than-life dogs.