We Signed Up For This Life, They Didn't | Anchors Aweigh

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We Signed Up For This Life, They Didn't

This past weekend was a really special weekend for the Phelps family. My sweet sister in law, Parker's only sibling, got married to the love of her life. We had been looking forward to this day for months. I was a bridesmaid, and Parker was a groomsmen. We couldn't wait to spend the weekend with family and friends to celebrate their union. And then, life happened. Well really, the military happened. Parker was scheduled to leave for a det with the Navy the day of her wedding. He did everything he could to try to fly out the day after the wedding so he could be there, but a schedule is a schedule and the Navy did not let him go. He missed his little sister's wedding.

I flew down for the wedding to represent the Phelps trio, and it was a beautiful wedding. I am so glad I got to be there, but I have to admit, it was really difficult not having Parker there. Walking down the aisle as a bridesmaid and not seeing Parker standing up there as a groomsmen was tough. Seeing the same unity candle that we lit and not being able to smile at Parker was tough. Hearing one of our favorite songs played during the ceremony was tough, but I could handle it. 

I could handle it because Parker took an oath to protect our country. I could handle it because I took vows on our wedding day and promised to stand by him no matter what, and I meant it with complete conviction. Guess what though? Our families and friends didn't take these oaths and vows. Parker and I knew what we were signing up for in this life, and we both did it willingly. It's not fair to expect someone to completely support this lifestyle who didn't sign up for it, though. Part of me was nervous to tell everyone that Parker couldn't come to the wedding. I knew his immediate family would understand, but would extended family and friends understand too? Rationality says if you have something important like your sister's wedding, you take off work and do whatever you can to be there. Rationality says Parker could have made it more of a priority and somehow been there. That works for the typical 8-5 job- it doesn't work for the military. 

If there is anything this past weekend taught me, it's this: our families rock. Everyone at the wedding of course mentioned how much they wish Parker was there, but they were so gracious and understanding about why he wasn't. Family and family friends who feel like family came up to me all night to tell me how proud they were of Parker and how much they loved him. They could have chosen to be angry and annoyed that he wasn't at the wedding. They could have refused to try to understand, but they didn't. The love and support they showed me and expressed for Parker made my heart smile and filled me with so much joy. They didn't sign up for this life, but they are invested in us and love us unconditionally, through the things they understand and the things that sometimes don't make sense when you aren't used to this lifestyle. Basically, this is my way of thanking our families and friends for being so supportive. It means more than any of you know.

Here's a quick shot of me and the beautiful bride!


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25 comments :

Karla said...

Oh wow! That is so sad that he couldn't be there, yet so awesome that his family was so understanding and supportive. Gorgeous picture!!

Amanda Patten said...

Gorgeous the both of you, love the dresses!!

Kallie @ But First, Coffee said...

You both look stunning and such a well written post. My friends husband is in the coast guard and at their sons first bday party she was sending him photos via iPhone cause he was out on a boat and i felt so badly that he had to miss their sons first birthday. But they are both so upbeat and happy about it!

Breanna said...

Wow well said/written girl!

Thankfully both sides of our families are the same way, very supportive and forgiving. I think they know that if we could choose we would be there for every big event, holiday, celebration, etc...

www.goingupupandaway.blogspot.com

Blogger Ash said...

So sorry to hear Parker couldn't make it. He must have been so disappointed. The bride was beautiful - congratulations to her! I love your bridesmaid's dress. It reminds me of a ballet costume I picked out for one of my classes when I was teaching dance, except theirs was a turquoise color.

~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
http://acutelifestyle.blogpost.com

Jessa @ Life of A Sports Wife said...

that is so beautifully written. I completely understand.. I know people understand but that doesn't make it any less easier.

Melissa said...

Oh, girl, I understand this so well. I'm so sorry to hear that your husband couldn't be at his sister's wedding, but these things DO happen with the military. I can't tell you how many times the Army has thrown a wrench into Ryan and my life and, while we deal with it, others have to bear the fallout, too. It's not easy!

Brianna said...

That is so great that family and friends were so supportive of his absence from his sister's wedding! I, for one, do not know how military life works on the day to day, but I know it's a huge commitment. Kudos to you for standing up for your husband and the military lifestyle y'all accepted!

Stephanie said...

While Tom was deployed he missed his best friend's wedding where he was supposed to be the best man. They had a picture of him on the seat instead. It is really though in those moments, but we have to accept it. Like you said we took vows that went along with the oath they swore. Hopefully people are fortunate to understand if we can't be there! PS. You look beautiful in those pics!

Ashley said...

I can imagine how tough it was for you not having him there, but you're so lucky to have such a great support system. You girls look beautiful!

Bailey @ Becoming Bailey said...

That must have been so tough that he couldn't make it to the wedding, but I am glad your family and friends were all so understanding. THANK YOU to Parker and you for the sacrifices you both have to make so Parker can protect our country.

Laura {happily ever} Parker said...

Wow that must have been so hard on Parker and his sister. Once again making sacrifices the average person doesn't have to. What a rockstar! Glad you were still able to attend and represent!

Kate at Green Fashionista said...

I'm sorry he couldn't be there with you, and am so glad everyone is understanding as to why. There are a lot of people out there that think military can just come to an important event at the drop of the hat which is definitely not the case.

P.S. Beautiful pic of you and the bride :)

Ashley said...

You and your sister-in-law look so beautiful. I'm sorry Parker couldn't be there but it's so nice when family is understanding.

Samantha @ Life is But a Stream of Thoughts said...

I'm sorry he couldn't be there, but I'm so happy to hear you have such supportive family! Congrats to the newlyweds!

Susannah said...

You and Parker are truly blessed to have such a loving and supportive family!!! And a huge congratulations to his sister and her new husband. :-)

Amy said...

you & your sister in law look absolutely lovely!
<3
big ol' hugs out to all of you. i can only imagine how hard it was for parker to not be there but thankfully everyone completely understood!
<3

Tammy Jo said...

This couldn't have been said any better!

Lauren Zimmerman said...

I honestly think it's harder on the families sometimes than it is on us. It's a tough situation in which everyone has to be understanding that our choices are not always our own, and that's hard for some people to swallow!

Melzie at Ribbons and Rotor Blades said...

I so completely agree with this!!!! I'm happy you were at least able to go and represent your little family.

Melzie at Ribbons and Rotor Blades said...

I so completely agree with this!!!! I'm happy you were at least able to go and represent your little family.

Coco N said...

The bride looked so beautiful! Congratulations to her xx

Jen said...

It's always hard to attend those special events without your spouse. You looked beautiful though as did the bride.

Saira Naomi said...

Oh wow! What a beautiful dress. It sucks but people understand and if they don't, they don't matter :)

Jamie @ You Gotta Have Hart said...

I absolutely love your stand point/view on this! I love that you stand by your man and you have such a great attitude about your life with Parker and what you both signed up for. I'm so happy that I have Parker protecting my freedom and that he has you by his side! And what a beautiful bride!! PS-- Thank you so much for linking up!!! XOXO

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