Upstairs in an envelope in the cedar chest my grandma gave me are several handwritten letters on special paper. They were written by a man who was full of hopes and dreams for his family. Those letters are full of emotion and love. They are full of facts and information. They are full of questions and answers. The letters are stained with tears and worn from being read over and over again. I haven't read those letters in a few years now but I know that if I were to go get them out right now they would conjure up the same emotions as the first time they were read. Once a week I would get one of these letters, the waiting for them drove me insane.
The first letter came just a few days after he'd left. With it was also a box full of clothes. It was a nerve-wracking time. About two weeks after the first letter, I packed up our apartment and our son and I moved in with family. The letters only came once a week even though I sent at least one, but sometimes up to three letters a day. Every week I got a letter it was just a little bit longer than the week before. More information to tell me. More details to discuss. More answers to all the questions I'd asked. More X's and O's and I miss you's and I can't wait till I can see you again's.
The last letter came with diagrams and seating charts. It was a much happier letter, full of anticipation. Eight weeks had finally ended and written words wouldn't be needed anymore. We were finally going to be able to see each other again, face to face. We'd be able to spend a few hours as a family. We'd be able to hug and kiss and hold hands, well, at least in private, but not publicly. And most importantly, I would get to look my husband in the eye and tell him, not just write it in a card, how proud of him I was for becoming a United States Navy Sailor.
It's been eight years since those letters first started arriving. It's been an amazing journey! I'm still just as proud of my husband for making the choice to join the military and serve our country, even if to him it was just what looked like the best idea of how to take care of our family at the time. The Navy has brought our relationship closer together and even torn it apart at times. It has lead us down a path we could have never imagined. We've had opportunities we could only have dreamed of. It's been some of the scariest and some of the most rewarding eight years ever. I'm still just as proud of him as I was back then.
Labels: I'm married to a Sailor, Love, Navy