Do you remember the first day of school? You go into a classroom and look around at all the strangers wondering who they are and if you would ever have anything in common with them.
In the fall of last year, hubby was being seen at the VA hospital locally and it was recommended to him to start the MOVE program. So, a few weeks later we found ourselves in a similar first day of school situation. We entered the classroom and hubby sat down at the table. I sat along the wall, not really knowing what I was supposed to do. It turned out that I, too, could participate and be a support for hubby while he went through the class. I moved to the table where he was seated.
The facilitator has taken a group of out of shape veterans, seeing them shed inches and pounds and outer veneer to become a caring group. It has been a fascinating journey for me. Much the same as a school room environment, I have discovered that the strangers on the first day of this class do have like interests and struggles and humor.
Each week we have a different topic to discuss and discover. I initially went thinking I would be waiting weekly in a room, trying to keep myself occupied while hubby was in class. What has happened is so different. I have learned so much these past weeks, about myself, my diet, my activity levels, about health and wholeness, diet, nutrition, mental attitudes, exercise, the list goes on and on. I cannot say enough positive about this experience.
Although I knew that this room would be filled with veterans, I have to remind myself often of that fact. Of course we found the Navy veteran, as they hold a dear place in our hearts, but, each branch of the military is represented and I love listening to stories before class begins.
There are three women veterans in the room. From outward appearances you see a young mother, a middle aged women perfectly put together, and a grandmother who uses a walker and babysits a grandson while participating. It takes a conscious effort on my part to remember that these three women were once military personnel. I have sat in the room looking at them trying to conjure up images of them in uniform. I long to hear their stories. They fascinate me. They are incredible women, having taken the oath to support and defend our country.
The men in the room are great fun. Having been a Navy wife I am used to seeing and being around military men. I enjoy the camaraderie they enjoy. They are brothers in arms and it is obvious.
There are three military wives. We are easy to pick out. We sit beside our husbands. We smile at jokes, or when they say something. We look like supportive and caring wives, which we are, but, we are so much more. We know separation. We know long days and nights of taking care of home and children. We are strong women, similar to, and yet different from the women veterans in the room. We too, are veterans of a different kind.
We have two more classes. I am saddened to see it end. I know the things I have learned are a part of our lives now. They will not be forgotten. To our dear facilitator, Amy, thank you for all your hard work, time, effort and care you tirelessly pour into each person who attends. Your faithfulness in your job lives in each individual who enters that classroom. Your enthusiasm lingers in the minds and memories of those whom you serve. Thank you for your service. You serve our veterans well.
For those in the classroom, you have blessed my life. You have brought smiles and laughter to me when I entered not wanting to smile that day. You have each made an impact in some way in my life, and for that I am grateful.
For those of you reading, take good care of yourself, you are worth it. Eat right, think about what and how you are eating. Get some exercise, it will encourage you in many ways. Thank you for stopping by today. Have a very happy 2020. Cathi (DAF)