I started The Army Wife apron series as something of a statement about my experiences. I may have assumed subconsciously that they would be cathartic as so many artists say that they’ve been able to work through issues with their art. Nope. I don;t feel any different. The aprons have, thus far, been more of a way to focus what I feel — something that’s difficult to put into words.
I just read a book though, that does a great job of explaining what so many military spouses go through. We will recognize ourselves or acquaintances in the book, and civilians will undoubtedly gain insight into the military life. “While They’re at War” by Kristin Henderson follows the stories of two wives in 2003 while their husbands are deployed, but also weaves in the experience and expertise of many others along the way, and includes many facts and resources in her explanation. The book was published in 2006 and focuses around the time of “major combat operations” and most of the soldiers entered the military post 9-11. The intensity has changed since 2003, but so much remains relevant.
As I read the book (admittedly with a lump in my throat) I wanted to write my own version of each chapter. My experiences: my man joining in the nineties, having been stationed overseas, pre-war deployments, etc. are different than the women in the book, but deep down, a lot is the same. I was thinking of writing about it here, but now, a few days later, I’m thinking not. I’m continuing with The Army Wife series though. I have big dreams for it when three of the aprons return from “Beyond Comfort.”