By Anita Doberman
In the last few weeks, I missed my husband’s call from overseas too many times. If it’s just once or twice I don’t mind, but if it happens on numerous occasions, I feel frustrated and disappointed.
I wanted to share our excitement about an upcoming trip to Atlanta to attend my oldest daughter’s cheerleading competition. My husband didn’t know, so I felt sad that he couldn’t participate, even if from a distance.
The prospect of a long car ride with my five little “angels” wasn’t really inspiring, and the idea of spending hours in a small hotel room not exactly comforting. At the same time, I was also really happy to go — I saw how important it was for my daughter to compete, how excited she was and how good it would be for my children to experience a city like Atlanta, see the aquarium (which was fantastic), the Coca Cola Museum, the zoo, and most importantly, test my own patience.
I guess I just wanted a little pat on my back from my hubby, and hear him say “you are doing a good job back home.” I give myself a B+ for the actual time we spent in Atlanta, and a C- for the trip. It was tough when all the five kids were crying at once, asking for odd things like, “Can I get a real pony?” or “I need a new Webkinz, Mommy. Matteo barfed on mine!”
I didn’t get to speak with my husband even after we got back home, but I was inspired and comforted by another mom on our trip. This African American woman, a single mom to three children, showed me what it means to tough it up, push forward and be grateful for what we have, even though things may appear to be difficult. This woman has dealt with numerous health problems and the loss of her mother, while trying to provide for her three children, two of whom she adopted from the foster care system. There was no hint of complaint or resentment in her voice, but a peaceful acceptance of the way things are and desire to do the best she could — the best encouragement anyone could ever receive.
After talking to her, the facts that my husband is deployed and that I couldn’t get in touch with him didn’t seem important. It’s people like this woman who inspire me to be a better person and put a smile on my face when things are tough.
Next weekend, I don’t think I will have a hard time smiling. I am going to Nashville, Tenn., and for a country music fan like myself, no amount of crying from my little darlings, requests for odd pets or the absence of my husband, can take away the excitement of the experience.
Anita Doberman is a freelance writer, mother of five and wife of an Air Force pilot stationed at Hurlburt AFB in Florida. The family expects to be moving to Cannon Air Force Base soon. Contact her at: