Militar mama: Patience is a virtue, technology is a blessing

When it comes to being a military spouse expecting the unexpected is about the best advice you’ll ever get. Learning to function both with and without your significant other nearby would certainly be the next best.

Every goodbye can be a nerve-wracking and lonely experience. Yet, we do what we can to maintain some semblance of normalcy, even though out significant other is absent. We schedule our days around the possible phone calls and Skype chats that keep us going through solo time. I cannot fathom what the families of servicemen (and women) went through before webcams, cell phones, instant messaging and email. I consider myself to be a strong wife, but in comparison I’m just a sapling to those who endured long silences in communication with their loved one before electronics ruled the world.

Truly, I remember in fifth grade I had a pen pal in France. I would wait around for the mailman to show up with the red and blue bordered envelope that contained such heartfelt brilliance as: “What is it like in America? Do you have any brothers or sisters? My English is good, Yes? I enjoy chess. Do you?”

Obviously there was little emotional connection there, yet I grew incredibly impatient and eventually annoyed by the drawn-out process.

Worse yet, press rewind several more decades and think about those who dealt with the inconsistent communication of the Pony Express. Can you imagine? Sorry honey, your last letter never arrived due quite possibly to some overzealous train-robbers and/or outlaws.

Though more instant, the intimacy or sharing a loving thought over the telegram wires is hardly appealing. My dearest. Stop. I miss you terribly. Stop.

I feel similarly lukewarm about texting, but at least that drops out the middle man. Can you imagine dictating a private message to a complete stranger to pass on to your spouse? It certainly would keep communication “G-rated.”

I am appreciative of technology, because I don’t think that I would have the patience required to sit by the window and wait for any word or sign that my honey is doing well. I am more fond of living in the Jetson age, we may not have mastered hover cars, robot maids or retro-style ‘futuristic’ attire. Yet, the fact that I can view my husband as I speak to him practically from any location on the planet is quite fabulous. Sure, I may get a little irritated when his webcam freezes, or his Internet connection fails, but considering the past options I’ll take it.