Author: Rebecca Hyde
It’s been a rough year for many people, myself included. My husband recently retired from 22 years in the Navy. Being high school sweethearts, I have been on this roller coaster ride with him since day one. Retirement was rough on me. Mix reintegration and covid with retirement, and you have a disastrous recipe.
We moved from what I perceived to be my “forever home” in Atoka, TN, to Huntsville, AL, over the last year as well. It has been a hard transition. I have been here for ten months, and I have yet to meet anyone or make real friends. I am a people person, so this has been especially hard for me. It will get better, I am sure. It always does. What I do not have, though, is my safety net of military spouse brothers and sisters. I did not realize how much I would miss it. I find myself having a challenging time fitting into the civilian community now. What do I have to talk about? Deployments they won’t understand. The woes of PCS moves and the ebb and flow of relationship challenges within a military marriage? Can you relate?
We went on vacation this past weekend. Due to deployments and covid, our traditional annual family vacation has not taken place since 2017. It felt good to dip out of real life for a few days and simply be “together.” We did not go on elaborate vacation, but a few days in Pensacola, Florida, was just what I needed to recharge after this past year. I needed it. My husband needed it. My kids needed it.
Lying on the beach, I reflected on these things as I watched my littles play in the sand. Kids are resilient, aren’t they? We worry too much about them sometimes and too little about ourselves. When it was time to pack up and move, they happily got out their suitcases and began packing their Barbie dolls and jewelry-making kits. My oldest son grabbed a box, cranked up the music, and hopped right to it. It was not that easy for me.
As the Blue Angels flew over my head, sharing that amazing Navy pride they always do so well, I looked around at the people surrounding me. Suddenly, it did not matter that I had a rough year. Who has not? It did not matter that I only had one friend here (thank you for everything, my darling friend Patience). And although I do not have my military spouse's safety net right next door, I have brothers and sisters that are only phone calls or Facebook messages away all around the globe.
I have a lot to be thankful for. A husband that has worked hard for the past 25 years to care for his little family, three crazy kids, and three spoiled dogs. I know, that should be the other way around. I have friends that have become family, and I am on the right side of the dirt. Instead of focusing so much on what I do not have, or the trials and tribulations we have seen over the last year, I will focus on what I do have.
I looked over at my husband baking in the sun and my kids, who were now covered in sand and happily digging for seashells. A quote that I had not thought of in forever floated through my mind. “We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.” We certainly do.