11 September 2011

i'm grateful for . . . 'my social commentary Sunday series' & what today means to my family

Greetings all,
I have been toying with the idea of whether or not i would post anything about the 10 year anniversary of 'September 11'.  You can read, delete, comment, relate, smile, cry - this is my story. I receive many private emails asking about our life, do i worry, is it dangerous, how do the children cope . . . i'm the only Army wife most of you know. 
10 years ago i was heavily pregnant with twins, living in Darwin, my husband had been in the Army for 5 years (already a war veteran) & we had a gorgeous 2y.o. daughter.  When we woke that morning to see the news of planes hitting the World Trade Centres, our daughter's first long sentance ever was "mummy, look, those planes were flying then crashed into the buildings".  I will never forget it.  How do you explain that is real & not Hollywood??  Like
why daddy carries a rifle & has a truck with large guns.  Life was changing.  I knew what it meant to our little Australian military family - allied with America, it was going to involve my husband eventually. 
Now i thoroughly support my husband, his career & our choices (he joined the regular Army after we met).  He is a soldier, that is so much more than a job title, it's a whole family putting on a brave face, constantly farewelling him off to war zones, with midnight phone calls & posting random mail off to the desert.  We have lost 29 Australian soldiers (Afghanistan) these past 10 years, some were our friends.  During my husband's last deployment they lost 10 guys from his base alone, in 8 months.  The families of fallen soldiers have a similar mantra 'he was doing what he loves, he had a purpose, he was well trained & his mates supported him'.  It's true, we love them, we're so proud, we understand their desire to go to war & put their training into action.  Me, i distract myself with positives & talking to my husband, honestly, as often as we can, about good days & sad days.  I try not to sound like i'm too capable, as he needs to feel needed, it's tricky, the balance, constantly thinking about how what i say & do, affects him, it can be magnified, out of context, sound like i'm living happily without him.  He might have been shot at, rocketed or lost someone & hasn't told me or can't tell me yet.  I have freedom & can go swimming; he moves about with a pistol & body armour, in 45C heat or -20C blizzards.  We are worlds apart in every possible way.
Right now, he's home with us.  We're loved up.  Look at these beautiful skies. 
 We're outside playing cricket with our 4 children & even our Khan has his own bat!!
 We're enjoying time together, with a delicous lunch - topped off with homemade butter (totally unheroic with a KitchenAid Food Processor, pour in double cream, whip, done).
 This is what we're having for dinner . . . smoked salmon, beetroot & potato salads, with Rye bread & our own butter - thanks Jamie Oliver & your 30 Minute Meals (this receipe was on last night's show & i started writing the grocery list immediately).  It will be plated up on this wonderful fishy platter.  Fresh produce from a farmer's market, a far cry from desert war rations.
So while September 11 was a shock & as a direct result my husband has been to war many times - missing large chunks of our children growing . . . we view it as a good dose of . . . live the best life you can, with the time you have.  Play with your children, eat well, say what you mean & love as hard as you can.  Trust me, sometimes i squeeze my handsome soldier so hard his back cracks!!  He is so easy to love.  
For more Gratefuls, Kymmie is hosting this weekend.  Love Posie
PS my 3 x Lego Hero Factory giveaway ends tonight!!


Felicity said...

What a wonderful perspective on this day of reflection Jennie.
You're right, you are my only link to a serving officer in the ADF and my thoughts fly to your family every time there is a tragedy in the war zones.
It's fabulous to read about your time together now and the simple [and delicious] things that you are savouring together.

Biggest of hugs and thank you's to your whole family.

Maggie said...

I can't imagine what it must be like to have your beloved away from you in a dangerous place.
When I was little and was taught about war at school it was so obvious to me what a waste it was that I thought, well that was in olden times and now we've learnt better. I wish that was the case.
Since having a son of my own I just know if women ruled the world there would be no war. My Dad is not the man he was before he left for Vietnam (I'm so sad that war stole my Dad's happiness) and my husbands twin cousins were killed in the bali bombing.
I'm glad you are able to be grateful through everything.

Frances said...

Well said Jennie, Take advantage of every moment when you can - you never know what is around the corner!

Thanks for sharing your life with us

designed to a T said...

Jennie it's so hard to imagine what life as a soldier's family is like. You are right, we are proud of them, I know I am. But, keep them home and bring the rest home soon. Even though this is not 'our' war, the men and women of our ADF are patriots and follow the Aussie spirit, go where help is needed and want to 'get the job done'. Soldier on Jennie and family, and to your 'handsome soldier', be safe if you are needed in a remote zone, somewhere out there!...T

mel @ loved said...

You know I often think about you, your family & your soldier husband, I can only imagine the reality of what you live every day. I admire you so very much. I do remember that shocking day so clearly, I was heavily pregnant too, I'd just gone on maternity leave & when I saw that news on every tv channel that morning it rocked my world, and I was terrified of the world we were bringing this new baby into...
and here we are 10 years on. Enjoy having your man home with you. I'm going to go hug mine..xxxxx

deux chiens et un garcon said...


I was in Darwin too. Working in Darwin ED. Thre for the Bali Bombing as well.

We probably passedeach other at Nightcliff markets.

All strength to you and your soldier and your family.

Making the most of whatyou have.

Love J.O too

much love Jill

Sarah said...

Thank you for this post. It actually caused tears. Mainly because of how beautiful your family unit works and how well you describe it in your post. I envy that deep love you both have for each other.

I so can not wait till your man is out of the army and we can see his face. He sounds delicious.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and enjoy your time together

Anonymous said...

Hi Jennie,

How wonderful to have a little insight on how your beautiful family lives and loves. So positive and just what I needed to hear. I am feeling very grateful for all the wonderful people in my life today.

Kel x

Flying Blind... said...

Your husband and others like him are too brave for words. My heart goes out to all those affected either directly or indirectly today x

Lila said...

You're a stronger woman than I. It is so important to ne grateful for the small things, it's nice to be reminded of that through stories like yours.

My oldest is Paige so there must be something about Imogen and Paige going together (even though we didn't end up with an Imogen)

DuckEggBlue said...

9/11 did wake many thoughts in my mind, It made me realise that life can change in an instant no matter where you are who you are or what you do. My 10 year old was 9 mths old at the time and today when she asked what 9/11 was, I was almost lost for words to explain. Your story and your life showed me another perspective. I admire you and your family, I don't know that I could do what you do. I am glad that your soldier is here for you today xxx

Brenda @ Mira Narnie said...

Jennie you are such an inspiration! I just read your post to my husband. we both just sat there and nodded. We are semi watching a bit of a doco on 9/11....but i think we will just remember it in our own way. Thankyou, thankyou thankyou for sharing these tiny snippets of just how you do make it work with your loved one overseas in battle. You just are such a testament to the "take nothing for granted" mantra that most of us struggle to achieve in a lifetime.
God bless you Jennie and all your family
B xx

Anonymous said...

Thanks you for sharing your grateful and thank you to your hubby and his mates for trying to make this world a more peaceful place xx

Kymmie said...

Thanks so much Jennie for sharing a very private part of you for this very special post.

I often wonder how you do it. Always wondering if your husband will come home, and when war starts, knowing that he will be part of it somehow.

It's mind blowing and the biggest responsibility to defend our country. I do think that you don't take things for granted, because you constantly are away from each other. He sure must love being home with you all.

As for me? I'm damn proud of your man, and am so thankful that he is defending us and my beautiful children.

I couldn't be more grateful for you for letting him.


Mum on the Run said...

You and yours are inspirational, courageous and strong.
I have utmost respect for your commitment and sacrifices.

Naturally Carol said...

Hi Jennie..You are so right to love him while he's around..even if his back cracks from your bear hugs! You probably appreciate your fella more than all of the rest of us put together..who have had ours around pretty constantly. Balance is never easy to achieve but after reading your posts for a while, I appreciate that you try harder than most and enjoy some good solid results. Have a great week..loved up lady!

GoldenValley50 said...

Such a beautifully written and reflective post. So lucky to have "found" you! There have been so many ways September 11 changed all our lives however one of the most poignant comments that I have read was from Sandy Dahl whose husband Jason was the pilot of Flight 93. She said : 'If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate'
Let this be the mantra for us all!

Thank you so much for your little visit today Miss Posie. Warm, warm wishes from Far North Queensland. :)Sharyne
PS - You are SUPER doll!

Thea said...

These posts of yours always make me teary and you're right, you the only army wife I know so I always think of you when we hear those awful news. We all wish that wars weren't out there and that armies weren't necessary but while they are, we are all grateful for families like yours. You know what's important and remind us all to enjoy life. kisses.

Amy said...

You have made me all teary Jennie.

much love xx

m.e (Cathie) said...

oh Jennie, don't know how you do it! I admire your strength and love for your family.
those gorgeous kids are so lucky to have such an amazing mum ♥