Thursday, November 05, 2009
The good Lord was creating a model for military wives. He was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared at his side. She said, "Lord, you seem to be having a lot of trouble with this one. What's wrong with the standard model?"
The Lord replied, "Have you seen the specs on this order? She must be completely independent, yet she cannot even get on base without a sponsor. She must possess the qualities of both father and mother, be a perfect host to four or 40 with an hour's notice, run on black coffee, handle every emergency imaginable without a manual, carry on cheerfully even if she is pregnant and has the flu, and be willing to move to a new location 10 times in 17 years.
"Oh! I almost forgot! She must have six pairs of hands."
The angel shook her head. "Six pairs of hands? No way!" The Lord continued. "Don't worry. We will make other military wives to help her. And we will give her an unusually strong heart: one big enough to swell with pride in her husband's achievements and sustain the loneliness of long separations; one that beats soundly when it is over-worked and exhausted, that says 'I understand,' even when she doesn't and 'I love you', regardless."
"Lord," said the angel, "Go to bed and get some rest. You can finish this tomorrow."
"I can't stop now," said the Lord. "I am so close to creating something unique! Already this model heals herself when she is sick, can put up six unexpected guests for the weekend, wave goodbye to her husband from a pier, a runway or depot and understand why he must leave."
The angel circled the model of the military wife and inspected it closely. She sighed, "It looks fine. But it's too soft."
"She might look soft," replied the Lord, "but she has the strength of a lion. You would not believe what she can endure."
Pausing, the angel bent over and ran her finger gently across the cheek of the Lord's creation. "There's a leak," she announced. "I am not surprised that it has cracked, Lord. You are trying to put too much into this model." The Lord was offended at the angel's lack of confidence.
"What you see is not a leak," He said. "It's a tear."
"A tear? What function does that serve?" asked the angel. The Lord replied, "It stands for joy, sadness, pain, disappointment, loneliness, pride. It's a dedication to all the values she and her husband hold dear."
The angel fell silent. "You are a genius!" she exclaimed finally.
The Lord had the grace to look slightly abashed. "But you see, I didn't put it there."
The preceding piece is said to have been written by Erma Bombeck. Over the years it has been altered by innumerable authors. The original doesn't seem to be available.
We were military for 26 of 32 years of marriage. So as a "military wife" I can attest that you definitely need a big heart and at least 6 hands.
Thanks for posting this. I've seen it before, but not for many years. It made me tear up again.
Please support our troops, the wives take the brunt when you don't because they will go to the ends of the world to protect their loved ones against all enemies, even those of the Code Pink variety.
Being career military, is a family affair.
Some of the most amazing women I've met over the years have been military wives. I always feel like a pretender around many of them - they do the most astonishing things and somehow make it all look easy.
Thank you for supporting your husband's service all those years. Having watched my Mom and Mother in law cope with sea duty before I got married, I know that all the moving and separations take their toll.