Being the wife of a soldier is no easy task. I have endured things I never imagined would be asked of me. First and foremost, sending my husband to war. This was extremely difficult, and I would not wish it on my worst enemy, but it is not where the greatest of our sacrifices have come.
No, my gift to this country is not in watching for days on end as the news recounted stories of wounded soldier's, each time wondering if it were my own. It was difficult beyond measure, to be sure, when my husband was sent into Fallujah. These things have not gone unmarked in my heart. It is, however, easier to endure the obvious, because it is just that, an enemy before you to attack full on without regret.
But when Ralexwin missed his daughter's first steps or his son's, I cried. When I was alone to battle a son who would not talk, my heart nearly burst from pain. My trials came from nights when I would wake from nightmares and have no one to hold me, from standing at the doorstep grocery bags scattered on the ground around me, two sobbing, exhausted children clinging to my arms as I fumbled for my keys, from Sunday Services with a 10 month old and a 22 month old. These were, and are still, the hardest trials for me.
I never imagined that even years after his return from war, that I would burst into tears when I saw some sappy commercial about a soldier dying or a couple being reunited.
Then one day I read something and my burden took on an entirely different meaning:
"If you had known, said a person to me the other day, that Mr. A would have remained so long abroad, would you have consented that he should be gone? I recollected myself a moment and then spoke the real dictates of my Heart.... I would not only have submitted to the absence I have endured, painful as it has been; but would not have opposed it, even tho 3 years more should be added to the Number... I feel a pleasure in being able to sacrifice my selfish passions to the general good, ... which has taught me to consider myself and family but as the small dust of balance when compared with the great community."
Abigail Adams said that about her husband in 1782. When I read this, I at once became a member of an elite group of women. A group who have silently suffered the pains of separation, knowing that what they do is for the greater good. It makes me cry to think that I have endured and felt as Abigail Adams has. I am proud of my husband's military service, and even as troublesome and tiring as it is I would not take him from his responsibilities and obligations to this country for my own selfish desires.