Monday, June 12, 2017

Widows and Military Wives

Psalm 68:5 says "Father of the fatherless and protector of the widow is God in his holy habitation." The widow represents vulnerability and sacrifice. The Bible condemns exploitation of a widow and encourages the faithful to care for her.

Military Wives are held in the same regard. Their husbands are away, protecting our country. The wife who stays behind, becoming the head of the household and, in many cases, a single parent, is faced by many challenges. Loneliness, being one of the greatest.

Both types of wives are looked upon in a kind manner. They both have something in common with me. We are all doing it on our own; we cut the grass, do all of the housework, raise our kids, care for them when they are ill, shovel the snow in the winter, all by ourselves. We all miss our husbands and we are all in a situation that we cannot change. The only difference is HONOR. There is none in being a Prison Wife; at least not to the world. No one looks at someone like me in a positive way. The first question in people's mind is, "why do you stay?" No one would ever ask such a question of a Military Wife. No one would dare tell a widow to 'move on' with her life, to find another husband, one that is alive.

I don't mean to compare and I certainly don't want any pity or judgement. I merely think about this because once upon a time someone asked me, "So, what does your husband do?" Looking at my ring finger it was obvious that I was married. I wasn't ready for a question like that and, frankly, I can't even remember what my response was, except that it was a version of the truth but not the truth... OK, I probably fibbed! Later on I replayed the scene in my head. Had I said I was a widow, the person would have given me an "I'm sorry for your loss." If I had said that my husband was in active duty, the response might have been, "thank your husband for his service." This made me feel so isolated. There's no way anyone would understand, so I did my best to avoid being in this situation again.

Twenty (almost) four years later, I finally feel free to speak my truth. My husband is incarcerated. 21 year old me would have never been so bold. I'm so glad I'm over that hurdle!

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