Friday night I attended Lancelot’s Marine Corps Birthday Ball and was visited by the ghosts of Birthday Balls past, present and future.
The Ghost of Balls Past showed up wearing my very first Ball dress. A slick, red velvet, strapless, made to fit the 21 year old ME to a "T". I think back on those days and laugh at how naive I really was. I didn’t understand about Marines and deployment schedules. I didn’t think about war. I was caught up in the romance of it all.
The Ghost of Balls Past also reminded me of friends who’ve gotten out of the Marine Corps and gone on to better things. I thought of those friends on Friday. I thought of the last Birthday Ball I attended prior to this one. I don’t think there will ever be a better Birthday Ball for me. Having gone through a very rough deployment and weathered the storms with them, laughed and cried with them, I celebrated with them that night. We totally earned that Birthday Ball and we made sure that the debt was paid in Vegas. I missed those girls on Friday.
The Ghost of Birthday Balls Present reminded that I had once looked at the older wives with a little awe and trepidation and NOW I was that wife. The wife who could no longer take bets of $20 to dance on a table or get rowdy. I had to be the dignified and staid one. I decided that night that I would be the friendly one too. I am a shy person with people I don’t know so this was a bit of a stretch for me. I am happy (actually proud) that I had one young wife give me a hug and tell me that it was so nice that I would just walk around and talk to people like "normal wives do". That was high praise for me.
And sitting at our table that night was the Ghost of Birthday Balls Future. She gently reminded me that there weren’t going to be too many more Birthday Balls in my future as the wife of an active duty Marine. It is so weird to think that one day I will be the wife of a retired Marine and on the outside looking in.
I’m going to make the most of the time I have left as a Marine wife. I have a funny feeling I’m going to miss this crazy life.