You may understand why we work so well together.
The other, my d-bwa-bwa, has a name harder to spell than mine (my maiden name, that is). We fought all the time - about little things, about big things, about anything but somehow, none of that ever mattered. None of it every changed who we were to each other. She danced in the rain with me and a bottle of wine the day I turned twenty-one. And yesterday she asked me to stand beside her at her wedding - knowing that I may not be able to, knowing that that was when C was "supposed" to be deploying again, knowing and respecting that if I had to choose I would always choose him. I should be there but if not, she had planned to leave my spot empty, my name in the program, and saying something to the effect of "Saying goodbye to her hero as he prepares to deploy".
I am richly blessed by my friendships.
It is this goodness that I have known that makes my heart break for another friend in this life. When I met D she was engaged to her soldier. She has a kind, kind heart. I feel incredibly blessed to have her in my life. As a newlywed she is learning the hard way how at times some people just do not understand how this life works - even those closest to us. D and her husband's good friends just became engaged. The groom has asked him to be his best man.
I think we all know how difficult it is to give a straight answer to a scheduling question. I think we all know how much we honestly just don't have any idea when we are available, when our soldier can 'take time off work', if we can make that big family trip in seven or eight months. I know how frustrating it can be to sit on the other side of this - trying to make plans to include us, trying to work with a schedule that is so continuously changing it really doesn't exist.
D's husband can have no idea if he will be there. He leaves for his last major training for his first deployment just days before the proposed wedding date. C had to return to work three days after we were married. We were married on Saturday, stayed the day in New Orleans Sunday, and moved to Fort Campbell together on Monday. On Tuesday we were both at work. That is how this life goes.
We do not control time or schedules or events. NOTHING takes priority over the needs of the country. That is a tough pill to swallow - even for those of us who live the military life everyday. But D's friends ...
They have said some hurtful things over the last several days, bringing her to tears during an already emotional time - because her husband can't say whether or not he will be there. He can't say what he will be doing the next day, let alone months down the road. There isn't a "time-off" calendar that they submit their requests for. He can't call in sick and take a trip down for the wedding. He can't just not show up for a day or two. Those things just don't work. This is a very, very different world.
D's husband has been training so much that he is away far, far more than he is home (much more than the norm for us - they are always gone more than they are home). They haven't sat down to a real meal together in who knows how long. He is too busy to call people back, or answer emails, or what-not because he literally has no time. Sometimes people just do not understand that there are times when soldiers go into work at four in the morning and may not return until midnight. There are days that they are gone for days and weeks - while they are in country. This isn't a nine-to-five, Monday-through-Friday life. This is twenty-four/seven, three-sixty-five. A soldier is never "off work". I know in the civilian world that is a near impossible thing to grasp. It is our daily life.
The groom - a friend close enough to ask D's husband to hold this honor - told D that she and he are ruining his life because they can't say they will be there. That the Army is messing his entire plan up. That they aren't being considerate because they aren't giving yes or no answers, or can't give any response immediately, or that her husband doesn't answer when he calls.
Yes, he actually told her that.
D's husband is preparing to deploy.
To, ya know, a war zone.
As an Infantry-man with an Infantry unit.
It's, um, kind-of a big deal.
But D and her husband are "ruining" their friends' lives. Because, while he can't tell his wife whether he will see her in the next twenty-four hours, he also can't tell them if he will be standing at the altar in twenty-four (really less) weeks.
Oh what people can't understand ...
What advice do you have for my good friend D? And if you don't have any advice to share, give her a lil' encouragement! She is one beautiful young woman and my heart breaks for her.