Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Loving a sailor, making decisions.

We are looking at options; options for the future.

So there is a possibility that if you go this route, you may never get underway….again? I asked.

Well, possibly, says he.

I mull this over. On the surface that sounds spectacular and many a wife would gladly hear those words. Still, I know, in my heart, that he loves being at sea. When we started dating, I will admit, I fell in love with the romantic notion that he’d go out to sea, and I’d wait lovingly until he returned. It wasn't forever, I told myself, and always been an independent woman. I could do this. I would do this. I’ve been doing this.

I knew from our first date that I wanted to spend eternity with this man. I felt like Brandy, watching his eyes and listening to his stories of riding the ocean waves. I could feel the power of the storms and smell the salt of the water. While I knew he’d always be in my heart, I knew also that he had a passion for the great deep blue. I never thought he’d choose it over me, but I know he has always been drawn to it, and I respect that. In turns he respects me and always discusses a new billet with me before jumping in head first (that’s if he has a choice). In a way, I think it’s his way of reassuring himself that I’m okay with this life. I’m sure he struggles with it. Who wouldn’t? You love being at sea, but you love your family waiting at home too.

So, what’s a girl to say? A teeny tiny part of me wants to say “Yes, stay ashore. Be home to watch the kids grow.” Still, I’m a believe in allowing him to make his own career decisions (without too much nagging from me). We talk about the family first. Obviously, with children and school and housing matters, family often throws a wrench in the mix. Still, after we talk about ideal places for our family. I let him go from there. I can work almost anywhere so that doesn't concern me. So, I encourage him to think about his career advancement and getting the most out of educational and training opportunities. I want him to look back on his Coast Guard years and feel satisfied.

Why is this so important to me? Well, I'm glad you asked. When I was in the service, I didn’t take advantage of a few opportunities that came my way. I felt I was young and had all the time in the world. In addition, I never envisioned getting out as soon as I did. I had my goals set on a 20 year career, at least. So, I have a few regrets. I wish I had taken that overseas tour. I wish I had gone to that school in D.C. I should have completed my Bachelors when I was still active. I could go on and on. Still, I did get to experience a lot of great things and establish some solid connections, and for that I’m grateful that I wasn’t a complete dunce.

Back on topic though, I don’t want my husband to look back with remorse over things in the years to come. So, what do you say to your husband when he’s asking you about no more sea duty? Well, I told him, I support whatever decision you make. Either way, the future looks pretty bright, no matter what route he chooses. I just wish I had a crystal ball to show me what the ultimate decision will be. Until then, I’ll hand over the looking glass for him to have a tête à tête about which road to travel.

1 comment:

C Anderson said...

From the newly minted 378 wife: I hear you. We, too, have been talking about options. We only arrived 20 some odd days ago, and we chat about future paths/routes/availability for our next rotation.

Hugs as you cope with this balancing act.