Months ago, I got a call from my husband at lunchtime. It consisted of one urgent question, ‘Do you want to go to Colorado – I need to know by close of business today!’ With that I researched, joined spouses groups and hoped to make the best decision for our family. I’m lucky my husband asks for my opinion of orders at all, but sometimes it ends up being a double edged sword.
With my hasty research and knowing I have family and a good friend now in Denver, I said go for it. It is a great duty station for my husband’s career and we would make the most of it. I wrote a pros and cons list. One of the major pros being he would not be deployable as he would be the senior enlisted advisor of a reserve unit.
As I came to terms with a move to the Rockies (after thinking we might be here for a few more years), my husband was elated for new beginnings. I started getting nervous that we did not have orders and knew we were to move in a couple months. Add to that, I’ve got a major jaw surgery coming up and I’ve been in orthodontic braces for months to prepare for the surgery (and paid $6500 cash for this treatment). In Colorado, we would be seen out in town due to a lack of military health care on base. I was afraid Tricare may not cover the surgery out in town and all of this stress, pain, money, and time dedicated to improving my health could have been for nothing!
Now that the decision had been made, I continued to research, as we military spouses do. I found myself overwhelmed with the many reasons we shouldn’t move there. Schools that were iffy in the area, low BAH compared to the rental prices in the economy (easily $300 more than BAH plus utilities), not many houses for rent and when they go on the market, they are snatched up quickly due to the huge influx of people moving there from out of state due to legalizing marijuana and finally the size of the base – it’s tiny – there are only 14 houses we rate on base and there’s a 9 month wait for our rank and house size. The base itself is has a lot of reserve units so the military community is small and the amenities and resources are minimal. I am used to living on very large military bases such as MCB Lejeune and in the DC area where there are about 8 duty stations in a small radius.
I felt stuck between a rock and a hard place. I had made a hasty decision that I was regretting and the only thing positive is that it would be good for my husband’s career and he was elated.
That’s when it happened. He got news that instead of Colorado, we would be going to California – Camp Pendleton to be precise. Suddenly I was elated and he was deflated. California and that unit were not where he wanted to be. I was excited to be by the beach, have a huge military community, lots of friends already living there and many more with a lot of advice, my business would do well, a huge military hospital for me to support clients and have my major surgery performed.
We couldn’t seem to get on the same page when it came to orders. What made me happy made him miserable. What made him happy made me nervous and down right pissy. He sabotaged the kids feelings about California before we even had a chance to talk to them together. I felt he kept pushing for Colorado throughout the process which was putting his wants ahead of what was best for the family. But we were going to go to California and I told him he would just have to make the best of it – after all, when it comes to the Marine Corps, many times it is what it is and you just have to deal with it.
Except I didn’t believe that myself when it came to orders for Colorado. And then it happened again – just a month or two before we are supposed to move, they change their minds back to Colorado. Looks like all of the things I said to him about making the best of it when it came to orders was being thrown right back at me. It was time to swallow my pride – but I wasn’t ready to. I wanted to be bitter. I wanted to mourn. I wanted to throw a temper tantrum. You better believe I did for a bit.
It was Mother’s Day and I was tinkering around the house. I decided to polish my jewelry – a totally acceptable thing to do on Mother’s Day might I add! He asked me to polish his wedding band. He never takes it off.
As I am polishing it and look inside and there’s the inscription I had added before we were married 9 years ago. Ruth 1:16-17. I couldn’t even remember what those verses meant to me nearly a decade before but obviously they were relevant and spoke to me. I looked it up.
16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”
If there ever was a message that needed to be reminded to me, it’s this one. The day we said our vows, I promised to follow him no matter where he went. I will not turn from him. Where he goes, I will go. I can’t promise to always be happy about it, but I can promise that he is my person. And where he is, is my home.
Colorado or bust!
Written by: Melanie Binversie, Owner & Doula