Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Looking for Luggage, Met with Thanks

This weekend I went on a hunt for some newer luggage for my big trip in a few weeks (46 days to be exact, but who's counting?).  Most of my pieces are pretty beat up from my constant back and forth trips through college nestled in the unforgiving undercarriage of an Adirondack Trailways coach bus, or atop a crammed Amtrak luggage rail.  Thankfully, this pleasant little holiday in which we were to celebrate the birthdays of some of our greatest Presidents gave me a three day weekend and created decent sales at most retailers making finding a set relatively feasible.

In between unloading various coupons, gift cards, and merchandise credits on the very friendly associate while checking out, I hit a snag on, of all things, a throw rug, and needed a price check.  Yup, I had to be THAT shopper on a holiday weekend that needed to make the poor overworked and underpaid retail associate call for backup over the store's loud speaker, holding up the whole production, and angering a line full of people with overflowing arms.
While waiting for the Housewares department to disrupt the Musak system again, we struck up a conversation, Tony and I.  I suppose he figured with the giant luggage purchase I was going somewhere exciting, to which I explained my travel plans.  He asked if my husband was military... well, of course, because there aren't too many people heading to South Korea unprovoked these days.  He then proceeded to thank me. 
Normally, I don't really know how to respond to these sorts of praise and thanks. I don't initiate conversations with the intention of pity, and I don't expect anyone to feel bad for me, my situation, my life, FM, etc.  It is what it is.  So I am caught off guard when I, the spouse, receive thanks, not knowing what to do with it seeing as I am not the one wearing the camouflage day in and day out.
But Tony caught me off guard.  He didn't simply thank me for service, although
he did wish for me to extend that to FM, he thanked me for my endurance over this year.  Not once in the past six months have I had someone express their gratitude for my fortitude (again, not that I'm ever looking for it, or that I really think about it that way).  He reminded me that it's nice to hear words of support, even when you do not necessarily need it at the time.  It's nice to know that your fellow Americans, relatives and friends or perfect strangers you meet at the checkout of Kohl's, have your back and support you.

So a big thank you to Tony, for making my day a little brighter.  And from Tony, to me, to you a very BIG vote of thanks to all of you military families, wives/husbands, soldiers/civilians, children, friends, siblings, and parents alike, whether you be far away  from one another or as near as the next room over.  Thank you for YOUR endurance!

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