Marrying Into the Military | Anna Grace: Marrying Into the Military

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Marrying Into the Military

Military Life

Everyone was laughing.
A few shed happy tears. 
Those dearest to me wrapped me up in warm last embraces,
whispering into my ear.
"We're so happy for you."
"I'll miss you so much....."

I'll miss you too.

 I was in heaven, walking on the clouds. 
Just an hour or two before my name had changed. And so had my whole life.
I looked across the reception room to catch the smiling eyes of my groom.
An ecstatic glance, and then we turn away. There are still a few to say goodbye to.

The man who is the brother of my heart, though not in flesh and blood, hugs me.

 "I'll miss you little sis."

 "I'll miss you too."

"I'm so proud of you.
And when the baby is born I promise I'll tell her,
Your aunt Anna says hi. 
She loves you, and she wishes she could be here to meet you."

And reality hits.

I wont be there to hold his sweet baby girl when she makes her appearance in this world.
I wont be there.
And my heart breaks a little.
And my eyes fill with tears.
And this is cleaving.

Two days have passed. We stand in the cold November morning in front of my parents house.
My mother is wearing her brave face, and so am I.
Daddy slides the back of the Uhaul shut with a jarring bang.
I hug my parents tightly.
And then my husband and I rattle away down the long gravel drive.

We drive across Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado. 
This Uhaul truck is my modern day covered wagon.
I feel a little like a pioneer woman, 
leaving my family and traveling across the country with the man I love.
We drive to a little town in New Mexico, my home now.
This is leaving and cleaving.

The next day we board a plane in Texas, and we fly to Alabama. We get a rental car, and we drive through the black night to Mississippi. There is a little hotel room there that I called home for a few weeks. My husband was there. And so it was home.
I felt the quietness closing in on me in that little hotel room. 
It is no easy task to get used to the silence of days alone when you have been well accustomed to the happy squeals, laughter, and chatter of your eight siblings.
Phone calls helped. But I longed to cuddle a tiny figure close and read tales of Winnie the Pooh. I missed laundry-folding chats with my mother. 
I looked forward with all my heart to that hour at night when my beloved would come home from work. Oh how I love him!

At first the world of uniforms and flight suits, shopping at the commissary, and planes taking off over my head was completely overwhelming, but the feeling didn't last long.
"Anna," my Mama says over the phone "What on earth are you doing? It sounds like a plane is taking off."
"Really? Oh. Well, that's just a plane taking off."

Soon Christmas comes and we are back in our little home. 
Boxes are unpacked....
Well, sort of.
There wasn't time to put up a tree. 
But it doesn't matter. 
This is our first Christmas together. 
And even though my heart hurts a little as I think of my family in snowy Idaho,
And of all the Christmas traditions I love,
We will continue family traditions, and start some of our own.
I am reveling in the warmth and joy of sharing Christmas morning with the love of my life.
My heart is so fully entwined with his. 
And this is our life. 
And this is leaving and cleaving.

Yes. Sometimes I long to see my family.
And yes, sometimes it is hard.
But the joy and the glory of being married to this man is so much greater.
The sweet fulfillment of now experiencing things I dreamed of as a girl:
having dinner ready when he walks through the door, 
The house is clean,
The laundry is done.
Standing on tiptoes to kiss a clean shaven chin.

All those precious little moments I used to imagine.
Now they are the life I am living.

And some days dinner isn't ready, I humbly admit that some days it is even burned. :)
Some days the house is still a mess, the laundry is still in a heap.
Some days there are Kleenex boxes and hot tea, and its not very romantic to say "I love you" with a stuffed nose and a headache, but we do it anyway because its true.
Some days there are TDY's and goodnights over the phone, and my other half is in another state.

There are green boots walking next to dainty heels.
And there are hands held tight.
And there is love and laughter, and tears.

And this is leaving and cleaving.
And I love it. 


  1. Anna

    This is beautiful and truthful...thank you for sharing your heart.


  2. aw, made me cry!! Beautifully said, my dear sweet daughter.

  3. I've been reading the stories your mother have written on her blog. Been reading them from the beginning, a little everyday. Sometimes I stay for hours. Can't put the "book" down. I am halfway through. And now as I read your words here, I can't keep my tears from falling. I remember how it was too, many many moons ago, so they say. Leaving my Papa and Mama, the comfort of their love, the security of our home, the lunch box Mama would always fix for me... the glass of warm milk every morning next to my breakfast plate. Yes that is leaving, and cleaving... that was 35 years ago. I never regretted a single minute of it, although I must say there had been very difficult lessons to learn along the way. Four years ago my Prince Charming went on to heaven ahead of me. "I'll see you again one day," I whispered in his ear as his life was ebbing away right before my eyes. My dear Anna Grace, make every moment count. Marriage is the best thing that ever happened to me, next to knowing God as my Father and King.


  4. Love the photo! And your words. Fondly reminds me of our early days on base. How I LOVED that airplane sound (or, as my children call it now, "fast jets")! I had sensed for a few years that He had destined me to be the wife of an airman and now we were living it together. Only I lacked that thing you miss: lots of loved ones in your family and a rich home life. But we would be creating our own. Thanks for sharing your sweet thoughts, both difficult and tender.

    Blessings upon you!

  5. Thanks for the sweet glimpse into this moment of your life that is altogether different from what it has been and what it will be. A transition season with the emotional longings for what was, and the joyful anticipation of the coming adventure. Missing you!

    By the way, my family has deep dark mystery that includes the town of Clovis, NM. When you are settled and have some time, I'm hoping you might help me find some things in the courthouse.

  6. Sounds like you are living in an area where I lived for awhile. I love New Mexico but really Love living in Washington State. I remember those times long ago being first married and keeping a home. Sadly, I wasn't walking with the Lord so I went through some hard, lonely times. I enjoy reading your posts and only hope I can raise my daughters half as well as your mom has. God Bless

  7. Your writing is so beautiful. I follow your mom's and sister's blogs. I just found yours. Being an ex military wife - I can't wait to hear about your adventures.

  8. Anna,

    I have been praying for you these months. I am blessed to have you and your honey as our adopted family! Yep, we have adopted you whether you like it or not! :)

    Love ya friend! - Ashlee

  9. Your heart shines through your words. Thank you for this wonder-full story and journey with you. Blessings to you and yours. Live, Laugh, Love & Breathe!

  10. Sweet word of love and encouragement ~~~Love, Grammy



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