Last night, I was shaken by a simple video on another blog. This video was one of joy, of a father wrestling with his three tow headed boys. They laughed and screamed in delight. I cried. I cried because I hate that we have missed a year of those moments. And I grieved for the families who will miss a lifetime of those moments because their soldier did not make it home safe and sound. I grieved their loss and grieved my own. (I talk more about this on Military Mommy)
It set me in a tailspin to be quite honest. And I went to bed but couldn’t sleep. I missed Rob next to me, even though we are so close. I needed to feel him near me. To have him there so I could reassure myself that we really made it. That he made it home to us.
I can’t call him, even though he is just a state away from me. We have to do some haggling with the phone company so until then he is at the mercy of borrowing phones from his fellow soldiers. He was out of touch from me.
I knew where I could find him, where I could hold a piece of him close to me and breathe him in. I risked waking the baby to pull out my scrapbook from high school. Somewhere in the middle pages I found what I was seeking. Two clear page protectors, simple words written across the top. All My Letters from Rob.
From our first separation, we were in a heady fog of young love. Enamored with each other’s very being. I pulled them out and went back to bed. Cross legged in the lamp light I read every one of them. I laughed at Rob’s commentary on the Army, ran my fingers over his letters that spilled out love for me. Unabashed, beautiful, young, hopeful love. Tears trickled down my cheek as I remembered how it felt like the longest, hottest summer of my life. How I couldn’t imagine ever being so far away from him again. I love that they are written by the light of flashlight, at all times of the day and night, on blue Army stationary. Dated and stamped with our feelings for one another. In those letters I read words that made me smile and made my heart large with thankfulness. We wrote about our hopes and dreams, our plans for the future, would we one day be married? With children? Embracing each other every night of our lives. We had only known each other two months before he left. I was only fifteen!
If Rob didn’t read this blog so faithfully I would share some of them, because they are truly an amazing expression of romantic young love. But I love those love letters and that they are just for me. Truth be told they have never been read by anyone but me. I was too young and nervous about the depth of our feelings for one another to share them with anyone else. Not even my closest friends. They were only for me. But I am so glad that I have them, tucked away in a closet, in the midst of a million other memories. I will leave them for the daughter that we will have one day. So that she can read how loving and soft hearted her Daddy really is. So she can feel our love.
Our Love Letters, they warmed my inner being. I hugged them close to me in our bed, his side empty, lacking his ever present warmth.
He will be home soon, but last night he was with me in those love letters. I hugged him close to me, found him there, and breathed in his being. I felt him there with me.