Day Six of Creation:
the Military Wife

This was written by the late Erma Bombeck in the 1980s, but didn’t receive attention until it appeared in the Stars and Stripes newspaper in February 1991 while Desert Storm was going on. No copy of the original version by Bombeck can be found, and over the years it has been edited so often that it no longer claims one author — I even modified this a little myself.
However, the sentiment never changes.

Day Six of Creation: the Military Wife

While the Lord was creating the military wife, He ran His sixth day of Creation into overtime. An angel appeared and said, “You’re having a lot of trouble with this one. What’s wrong with the standard model?”

The Lord replied, “Have you seen the specs on this order? She has to be completely independent, must have the qualities of both mother and father when necessary, be a perfect hostess to 4 or 40 in an hour’s notice, handle all emergencies without a manual, cheerfully cope with pregnancy or flu, move all around the world, have a kiss that cures anything from a child’s bruised knee to a husband’s weary days, have the patience of a saint, and be able to do multiple things very well all at once with only her two hands.”

The angel shook her head slowly and said, “No way… you’re only giving her two hands?” The Lord answered, “It’s not the hands that are causing the problem, it’s the heart. It must swell with intense pride, sustain the ache of numerous separations while remaining true, beat soundly even when it feels too tired to do so, be large enough to say ‘I understand’ when it doesn’t, and say ‘I love you’, regardless.”

“Lord,” said the angel, gently touching His sleeve. “Go to bed. You can finish it tomorrow.” “I can’t,” said the Lord. “I’m so close to creating something quite unique. Already she can heal herself when she’s sick, willingly embrace and feed total strangers when she’s called upon, and wave goodbye to her husband every time he has to leave.”

“Can she think?” asked the angel. “Can she think?! She can convert 1400 to 2 PM!” the Lord exclaimed.

The angel circled the model of the military wife very slowly. “…she just looks too soft,” the angel sighed.

“She might look soft,” replied the Lord, “But I’ve given her the strength of a lion. You would not believe what she can endure.”

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek. “There’s a leak,” she said. “I told you that you were trying to put too much into this model.”

“It’s not a leak,” explained the Lord, “it’s a tear.”

“What’s it for?” asked the angel.

“It’s for her joy, sadness, pain, disappointment, loneliness, dedication, and pride.”

“You’re a genius!” said the angel.

Looking at her somberly, the Lord replied, “I didn’t put it there.”


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