HOME today is a far cry from the idyllic panoramic view of sapphire ocean or greenery that most of us Fijian spouses have left to join our soldiers, writes Isabella.

As a newly married woman, I would think there were so many opportunities here that my island home simply could not match. But lately, I’ve realised there are things that life in the UK will never be able to measure up to. Things I took for granted, such as family ties and memorable moments that I now miss.

The idea of living far from home seemed like an adventure. How then does one marry the idea of home being where the heart is, when in the culture you grew up in, home is where family is?

Well-meaning friends, co-workers, even family members, say ‘well that is the life you signed up for’; and yes, it is a personal choice we made knowing full well that our serving spouse will most likely miss birthdays, anniversaries, first day of school moments, or in my case all of the above and the birth of our child too.

We get it, it’s all part of the package and we get on with it because life doesn’t wait around for us to dwell in a mire of self-pity. Life carries on and so must we.

We are the unsung heroes, soldiering on, carrying a Bergen of life decisions that need to be made in the absence of our serving spouse. Reassuring the young child that their parent, who is thousands of miles away, will return safely. Putting aside our career aspirations to support our serving spouse’s career.

The unsung hero, whose family, that we so achingly miss every day, has now been given to us in another form. Our serving spouse, children and friends who fill the gap and become family.

And lastly, a once foreign land that has now become home.

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