By Dave and Lucy Snyder
The Story: Yes, it’s true, but the happy part of moving didn’t happen automatically for us. We had been married for one year when we got orders. This was going to be a short tour to Vietnam for me, (this is Dave), and Lucy was going to live near relatives in California. We navigated the treacherous waters of moving with a three-month old daughter and another baby on the way. To complicate things, one of us was a saver and the other was happy to dispose of everything but the essentials in order to start over decorating at our next location (you can guess who was whom!). This was a conflict of values, to say the least.
We argued about dumb stuff through the weeks before the move, but underneath all the disagreement was the much deeper issue of our first separation and wartime duty. We had fallen into “separation syndrome.” The good news of this situation came in the form of our dear friends and neighbors Terry and Janet. We met them when we joined the religious education program at the post chapel right after we married, and they became real life-savers as we struggled with our fear and worry about what might happen. Terry and Janet shared their experiences of moving and were gentle yet relentless in their questioning that forced us to examine our motivations. They also showed us by their example how to communicate our values and feelings honestly and lovingly.
Our Catholic Chaplain, Fr. Joe, was also a good friend and mentor as he introduced us to Couple Prayer. In those days, there were no cell phones and we communicated 98% through letters. We learned to pray the rosary and other prayers individually and then share our prayer in writing. It was so special to “connect” with each other through prayer even though we were separated—we really believe that the couple who prays together, stays together!
We moved many times during the next 24 years, and fortunately each of those moves was better than the last—and more fun! We found out that we both are naturally adventurous, with a deep curiosity about people and places. This made our moves much more interesting as we poured over maps and encyclopedias (the Google of yesterday). When our family grew, we included our children in the process. We researched schools, dreamed about where we would live, and what we would do for fun. Our first Sunday at a new post was important too, since this was our “homecoming” experience where we met other Catholic families who would become our new friends.
The Strategies: What are your moving strategies? Send us your stories and strategies about moving.
Dear Lord, we thank you for the gift of each other and good friends. Give us a spirit of hospitality for those you send to us and help us to hold each other close as we change and move on our military married journey. Amen.
Stories, Strategies and Scripture
…to create lifelong married love
This blog is written by military couples to share the wisdom, insights, experiences and faith that they have gained in their years of Catholic marriage. Comments welcome! Share your ideas and experiences with other military couples and help us support one another in the vocation of marriage!