Monday, February 7, 2011

Sister, Sister

These last few weeks have been quite a challenge. As I have filled you in on the ins and outs of my long distance relationship, there were a few details that seemed to slip between the cracks. First, my boyfriend's geographic location is due to his job. He's a Navy guy (very technical term). Additionally, he is on a training exercise at the moment (or as I lovingly call it.. he's "out to sea", makes me feel very 1940s). Believe it or not, in the middle of the ocean there is no Skyping. Or texting. Or (rarely) calling. Email has been the one constant, and that's not even constant. It's going on two long weeks that I haven't heard his voice...and I've got at least another two to go. 

Being placed in this situation, its very easy to bitch complain. The things we rely so heavily on to make our relationship normal have been stripped. And its very difficult. Add to it that I am on HIS schedule, and given the slight opportunity to reach out to me and call, if I'm in class or not around...I miss it. Sorry, try again in two more weeks! But this isn't a post about bitching, because sometimes I have to take two steps back and realize its not all that bad. I think about other women. I think about women like my sister. 

On the surface, our personal lives have seemed to parallel one another recently. We are both in long distance relationships. Scratch that. We are both in long distance relationships, that have always been long distance relationships. We are both in relationships with military men, her boyfriend a Marine, mine in the Navy. My relationship, however, began at the conclusion of my boyfriend's service, while hers began at the very start. While I compare our journeys, I acknowledge that hers has been much more emotionally trying, and for that I commend her. 

I caught my boyfriend at the end of his six year commitment to the Navy. As I mentioned before, we have a very rough time line, with his exit scheduled for sometime this summer. Because of this, he will not have to deploy. This is what helps me sleep at night. My sister on the other hand, has survived an eleven month deployment while her boyfriend was sent to Afghanistan last year. On top of that, she is looking at another one in 2011. She is my reminder of a war that is still very real, and for that she is my superwoman.

Recently, she has opened up to me a little more about her relationship, and the struggles of a real military girlfriend. With each little bit I learn, I gather more admiration for what she goes through on a daily basis. She makes me very thankful for what I do have. I don't want that to come out wrong---what I mean is she brings me back to reality.

While we can relate in some ways and have been able to share more and more about our relationships with one another, I hope she knows that as hard as I try, I may never truly know what its like for her. And sometimes, that makes me sad. But there is plenty more I hope she knows. I hope she knows the adjectives I associate with her; strong, selfless, resilient, brave. I hope she knows that although she's been my big sister all my life, I look up to her now more than ever. I hope she knows how much credit she deserves. I hope she knows she's inspiring. But mostly, I hope she knows how proud I am of her. I hope she knows... 

1 comment: