By J.G. Noll
It’s a show that seems to be a bit of an outsider on American TV– a British show on PBS (or binge-watched on Netflix) that features an almost exclusively female cast as the nurses and nuns who minister to the poor of the East End in post-WWII London. Call the Midwife that diligently protects the dignity and humanity of those who are perceived as different– from teenage prostitutes to elderly veterans. The drama doesn’t come from the petty bickering and backstabbing that often permeates plots with female leads. Instead, the drama comes from the work of life itself– birth, death, love, and leaving. The Nonnatus House– where the nuns and nurses live– is a place of refuge and support where all are welcome and none are turned away. It’s no wonder that Call the Midwife is a favorite among many military spouses.
While the show doesn’t exclusively deal with military themes–although the are present at times–the wisdom of the characters cuts across experiences and perfectly expresses some of the feelings and situations that military spouses find themselves in.
1. When you’re in a situation that you don’t think you can handle
“I have come to the conclusion that there are only two reasons for ever doing anything. One is love, the other is fear.” -Sister Julienne
2. Dealing with a particularly difficult deployment or assignment
“The world is full of love that goes unspoken. It doesn’t mean that it is felt less deeply or that separation leaves a cleaner wound. Its beauty… and its pain are in its silence.” -Jenny
3. Looking back on your military journey
“Every woman alive is the sum of all she ever did and felt and was.” -Sister Julienne
4. When you underestimate yourself
“Sometimes the heart desires very simple things. The heart holds within it all that is most precious, all that we must protect. But it is also braver and bolder, more resilient than we realize. If we wound it, it will heal. And if it breaks, it learns to beat again.”- Jenny
5. When you’re waiting to find out what happens next
“This is the dark before the dawn. But there is always a dawn.” -Sister Winifred
6. When you haven’t been able to unpack from your PCS yet
“My books have been in boxes for far too long. If they’re not set straight, their contents will jumble and become deranged.” -Sister Monica Joan
7. When it feels like you don’t fit in
“I do not believe in weeds. A weed is simply a flower that someone decides is in the wrong place.” -Sister Monica Joan
8. When you don’t know if you can handle anymore
“Invisible wounds are the hardest to heal, for their closure depends upon the love of others. On patience, understanding, and the tender gift of time.” -Jenny
9. When you feel out of control of your own life
“Fate might shake us, but our roots run deep. And we have love to water them.” -Jenny
J.G. Noll is the Editor of Military One Click and a veteran’s spouse. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.