Every deployment, the spouse left behind has to rely on at least one or two friends who help them with just about everything – kids, errands, house or car troubles, or just as a shoulder to cry on. Usually, these friends also have a spouse deployed, but that isn’t a necessary requirement. They are the friend that can fill in where you need them or for the things you would normally turn to your spouse for. Most importantly, they are the friend who is there even at your worst time and who still wants to be friends with you after it. For this deployment, my temporary husband is Erin, pictured here:
She is my friend who helps me with anything. The other day, she drove me back and forth from the mechanic, all with Addie screaming and escaping her car seat and Anya and Lorelei being loud. She goes out with me when the kids have a babysitter, just so I can get out of the house. She has volunteered to watch the younger girls for the Barcelona trip. She can fix the household things I cannot (which says a lot since I’ve become somewhat adept at random household repairs over the years). She knows more about this area, so she is my go-to person for all things Italy. She is super confident in herself, so she actually boosts my self-esteem a little just by being around her. She is not afraid of bugs or dog vomit, my two things I cannot stand cleaning up. She calls me or texts me to make sure I’m still sane and alive. Finally, she listens when I need to vent, lets me cry, does not judge me, and offers help constantly.
I know that this is generally what friends are supposed to do – they are there to love and support you, just as you are for them. I like to think I am her style-consultant of sorts – today, she came over to talk outfits and accessories for an important event she has to go to soon. We swap clothes, and I have helped her dive into the scrapbooking world. We talk books and movies, and even though she can also cook, I like to feed her too! During a deployment, it is even more meaningful to have someone like this near you. You are usually not near family, and friends in the military move away constantly as they receive new assignments. Finding someone who understands you and is willing to be there through all of it is rare, but it really helps. Erin has been so good to me since we moved here. I have had a hard time connecting with people, but she and I clicked right away. I know I won’t live near her forever, and I have a few other friends who have fulfilled my “deployment spouse” role in the past (and I am still friends with them!). So while I’m here, I will enjoy at least one really great friendship and take advantage of having someone to support me while Andy is gone this time.
I know she’ll probably read this (great friend remember – supports even this little blog), so a big thank you to her. And another thank you to all my prior “deployment spouses” around the world now. I hope I have been able to do this kind of friend for someone when they needed it to!