5 Lessons Learned from Our Marine Corps Son’s Wife

How a gentle spirit, quiet wisdom and sense of humor help a military family

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Posted in , Sep 23, 2014

Edie Melson's daughter-in-law, Katie Melson

I write a lot of posts about how wonderful our servicemen and women are. I love to highlight the sacrifices they make so others will never forget the price of our freedom. I also share many of the struggles our military families face due to their unique situations.

Today, I’d like to make it personal.

Edie Melson's daughter-in-law, KatieI’ve watched our precious daughter-in-law support her husband since before he enlisted in the Marine Corps.

She wasn’t his wife at the time, they had just begun dating. But even early on, her gentle spirit, quiet wisdom and always-present sense of humor meant the world to us all.

Here are some lessons learned from her:

1. Focus on others instead of yourself. 
From the very beginning Katie reached out to us during our son’s time in the military. She’d come visit after school, filling a vacancy in our lives with her presence.

2. Jealousy has no place in families.
I’ve since talked to so many wives and mothers of service men and women who’ve had adversarial relationships. Our precious daughter-in-law always modeled generosity and humility when it came to her relationship with our son. She was quick to share news and even correspondence so we wouldn’t feel out of the loop.

3. Allow others to support you.
Our daughter-in-law taught us how to give support and how to accept it. She accepted help when she needed it with grace and made it easier for us to do the same.

4. Keep your sense of humor firmly in place.
Katie brought a lot of joy into our lives with her well-tuned sense of the ridiculous. She worked hard to keep the mood light, especially when the frustrations of military life threatened to overwhelm us all.

5. Look forward.
One of the things that I admired most about Katie was the way she always looked forward, choosing to dwell on the times when she and Jimmy would be together. She never wasted effort dwelling on the time spent apart.

5. Use the opportunities of shared difficulties to deepen your relationships.
There’s no doubt that dating and being married to someone serving in our military is difficult. We watched our daughter-in-law use those tough times to strengthen her relationship with our son and with us. We’ll be forever grateful for that.

I mentioned above that I was making this personal. Well now I’d like you to make it personal, too. Give a shout out to those who inspire you. Share your own stories in the comments section below.

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