"A soldier doesn't fight because he hates what is in front of him. A soldier fights because he loves what he left behind." - unknown

"God is our refuge and strength. He will protect us and make us strong" (ps 46:1). For those who will fly today, for those who are there now, and for those who will soon join the fight, Lord, shield them from all evil, strengthen their hearts, and bring them home safely.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

To Own a Promise

I was with C today when I received an email notification that someone had commented on Promises. I have left the comment up. 

I did not delete it.

(Updated: Many friends have asked me, as this conversation and explanation has grown, why I have left it visible on the blog. I know deleting it seems to make the most sense.  When I began this blog I made a promise to myself  that unless something violates OPSEC or degrades the American soldier and/or their family it would remain. I will not break that promise even now.)

After you read here you are welcome to read what was written in the comments. I was accused of stealing "Promises" and of plagiarizing someone else's work. I don't know who made the accusation or where they feel credit belongs. They responded anonymously. 

(Update: He/she responded with a detailed explanation for which makes me understand the perspective better.)

Over the last week, "Promises" has been shared all over the internet - with different titles and with no author or source named. I cannot tell you how much it warmed my heart to know that this was touching so many people. I cannot tell you how much it has broken my heart to see others imply that they wrote it. A good friend knows I almost didn't publish this. I thought it may be too real - too honest. I have learned through this blog - in the months after writing this - how necessary real is. How vital it is to understand what we enter into and to understand that we all - marines', airmen's, sailors', soldier's spouses - we all are heart broken, we all are left behind, we all go through this together. 

There is so much hardness in the reality of this life. I was worried to show that when I wrote Promises. But, Lord, there is such a beauty, such a joy, such a goodness in the journey, in the hearts of each of us. We have to acknowledge the heartbreak, the darkness, to really know - I mean that deep, fiery feeling in our core of knowing - that this is worth it. This life is worthy of our joy. Worthy of the sacrifice. Worthy of the tears. 

I sat here to defend my writing. I sat here to tell you, line by line, where it came from. To point to each post before it that supports it. To defend myself. To talk about how our wedding anniversary is shared with the anniversary of the phone call informing us of the death of one of C's comrades. Or of the birth I witnessed of a friend's daughter while her husband was in Afghanistan. To take each one of these moments to claim just to our life, our journey.

And I keep typing these things and then deleting them. I keep wanting to say them - to make every one understand, to fight against an "anonymous". 

But that is the beauty of "Promises" - anyone of us could have written it. Anyone of us could take it line by line and claim it. Say "this is my life," "this is my journey."Anyone one of us has been there. 

We have all been there. 

This is my promise to C and his promise to me and to our boys. But it is your promise to your soldier - or sailor, or airman, or marine. It is his or hers to you. 

Promises belongs to every military couple.

The words are mine. My fingers wrote them. My hands published them.

But it was not just my tears that soaked them, not just my heartbreak that felt them, not just my joy that allowed them.

That is of all of us. 

As it should be. 

Until those sandy boots sit just inside our doors. 


  1. "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

    Eleanor Roosevelt said that.

    You know you wrote them, and that's all that should matter.

    Thank you for all that you do <3

  2. You have such grace and class. You don't have to defend your own writing. Those of us who read your writing every time you post know that those words are yours. Each and every post is just as eloquently written.

    Promises is so beautiful and does speak the reality of this life. It's reassuring to read it and know that I am not the only one feeling this way or going through this, being left behind. Those of us in this military life has made and lives by these promises. And I can't wait to see those sandy boots again...

  3. You have such a beautiful soul and way with words. You are obviously an amazing person!

  4. Promises got me through some very tough times. It was sent to me from a good friend of mine and a fellow army fiance. The truth is, it was so beautifully true that it hit home on a completely different level. It showed me that I am not alone in my feelings. It gave me hope that I could make it through tough times, just like so many people before me. You know the words...you felt the words, and that's what makes it real for all of us. I am glad that you wrote it and I am backing you up 100 percent. Thank you for writing the words to give us hope to look forward to.

  5. Like Cate said just above. Promises has also helped me. It was a wonderfully written piece and no one can take that from you. You know you wrote those words and that you have helped so many with it. Just ignore those who accuse you otherwise. What counts is what you know to be true!

  6. Megan,
    Anyone who knows you knows where those words come from, and those words written in your other posts- we have been there with you and lived those moments, too. I see you sitting on the floor of a living room opening a baby basket, see Logan "helping" pack stockings to send to Afghanistan, and see two friends' faces standing on your doorstep on a Sunday morning telling you it would be okay...

    Thank you for all that you do and for translating the feelings in all of our hearts into words so beautifully.

  7. I agree with you on all levels - all Army spouses are going to feel this way and have written something along these lines at some point in their service. It makes me sad to know that others don't realize we are all feeling the same things. When my husband missed the birth of our son and our first child - it was heartwrenching and painful, but do my feelings diminish others that go through the same emotions? NO! We know he was where he needed to be at that moment in time and we moved forward from there. Thank you for being honest and open about your life - there are times it's nice to hear some validation!
    Erin from Ft. Benning, GA

  8. Megan,

    My heart breaks for you to know that "anonymous" does not have the pleasure to know the person you are in real life, but only behind the words that you convey to help each of us make it through our chosen path and bring so much more to our lives.

    I shared an experience with you that broke me down from what I had always known for so long. It was my daily commitment to make sure that I was a positive leader and follower. You are that person as well. The genuine, caring, hopeful, full of life person that brings life to all of us that read your blog.

    It is a disgrace to those who cannot just be happy and find good in promising convictions that we as military spouses and families believe in and must find within ourselves to continue each day and deal with good, bad and ugly. Unfortunately, there is ugly. But, please know that you are providing goodwill for the rest of us.

    Keep blogging for the rest of us and know that those of us who KNOW you, either in person or in your words, know the real you! There is no other that can duplicate what YOU are living through or write it in words so gracefully.

    Hugs to you and the babies!

  9. C - I am not sure who you are but you should know that my C laughed when I asked when he started quoting Eleanor and I showed him. It was good to see him laugh. He's been upset about all of this. Thank you so much for giving that without even meaning to.

    Normal - Thank you so very much. I am so very sad that someone thinks I would take from a soldier and his spouse. I would never ... I just can't say how upset that makes me. So incredibly sad. Thank you for your support and I will keep praying for your husband until those sandy boots sit just inside your door!

    Sarah - thank you for your kindest of words. This is a humbling life but such a beautiful life. It is easy to write about that beauty.

    Cate - you know how grateful I am to have 'found you' through this blog. I am so very glad that your friend shared with you. You hold such a special place in my heart. I hope someday we can finally meet in the small army world.

    H - Thank you for your support and words of encouragement. I am saddened and even somewhat angered that something that has reached so many people, that so many of us have lived, has been tainted. Thank you for commenting.

    Anne, Anne - I will never forget my ah-ha moment at your house nearly four years ago. I will also never forget standing on the sidewalk while C told you about your soldier. I will never, never forget that day.

    Erin - thank you commenting! That has been my greatest comfort - knowing so many feel the exact same thing, in the exact same situations. To not be alone in this gives so much strength. So much beauty.

    My Wendy, my dear, dear Wendy - You have been one of my greatest mentor. You should know that. I have learned so much from your humor and your grace and your goodness. I hope I do your proud. : ) Your guidance has gotten me through so much this past year. Thank you, dear heart. (But the Cards thing ... I just don't know if I will be able to see past that ... It's a good thing I loved you so much before.)


I LOVE comments! Thanks for sharing : )