When talking to other seafarers wives you soon realise your lives mirror each other and you have many things in common. The number one thing we all agree on is that a sailor’s wife is one of the strongest women you will ever meet. Not just because we have to be or want to be, we just are.
Our men at sea do an amazing job, one in which should be more recognised and honoured by many. They are at sea for months at a time, especially in the present climate, away from their loved ones and families and life can become hard for them. Understandably so. They are under alot of pressure, not just from the job but that sense of responsibility to us at home, whilst making alot of sacrifices.
Their job is not the safest either, in fact it comes with many dangers. Long journeys, long hours, rough seas, dangerous working conditions onboard and let’s not fail to mention the risk of pirate attacks. Non seafarer families and individuals are alarmed at the mere mention of these things, but for us it is simply a part of the job, and you each accept that it all comes as part of the package. It is our normal.
Life gets tough for us also at home. We all agree that we get moments in which we struggle, often coming in waves at once. For me the hardest aspect is missing him. I miss him every minute of every day, that is just who I am. But when something goes wrong at home or I am having a particularly tough week, that feeling is overwhelming. In those times not even crossing another day off on my calendar brings me my usual comfort. However I know I must put life into perspective and I must stay strong and be the best support I possibly can be for him. For he is relying on me and I am all he has.
But how do we really stay strong for our men and be their everything? I define us as a lighthouse.
Like a lighthouse we always stand firm and are always there. A constant in their life, playing a role that we never get tired of. Our duty begins the minute they leave and we do not stop until they step foot back within the family home (nor even during leave). Many have asked me do I not get exhausted through the worry and sleepless nights, which there is plenty of, and the answer is always no. I feel we have this ability to run on autopilot mode through our sense of responsibility and being a part of a team.
They know where we are and how to reach us, any time of the day or night. We wait on the shore for them, with our mobiles never far from us and always switched on. They know the mobile is being checked numerous times during the day as we simply just wait for their message, a call that will turn into several calls due to the continued loss of connection, and those two ticks which admittedly bring me so much excitement. Us seafarer’s wives definitely appreciate the simple and smaller things in life!
We also guide and protect them with our unconditional support and advice. We are their safety blanket. Nothing makes me feel more important and special when he turns to me when he has a bad day and just needs to hear a comforting voice, or if he has a problem which he knows we will fix together. I feel proud that he knows he can rely on me and that we face all those storms together and will always see them pass, he is never alone.
But most of all, we are a symbol of love and security. No matter how far they are, and how far the shore is out of sight, our memory and all that we are is alight within them and never out of mind.