My dear Joey,
I've tried to write this letter to you time and again, but each time I encountered a writer’s block. Putting how I feel about you onto paper requires me to use the right words, but sometimes the “right words” just wouldn’t come. I guess that’s what they mean by “Writer’s Block.” So, after much consideration, I’ve decided to take a different approach to this love letter thing and write what comes to mind.
I remember when we first met. It was summertime, we were at our neighborhood pool, and you were so cute. Your roommate introduced us, and my sister cannon-balled into the water…on your head. You were in the Air Force at the time, and that in itself was exciting and scary. It was fun flirting with you at the pool, talking about movies and music, Germany, air planes, and pets. But the summer moved on without us, and we briefly fell out of touch. At this point, I have to credit your sister for our relationship coming together (well, her and a hurricane!) When she and your mom evacuated to your apartment, fate intervened and after a whirlwind romance, you proposed. And then, I was a better person, because of your love.
We've been through some interesting things, haven’t we? The hoops you had to jump through while we were dating – because of my overly protective parents. But you persisted, and here we are, six years later, married and having a blast as parents to our toddler.
I am so many things because of you. I’m almost a teacher now, something that I’ve secretly dreamt about since childhood, because of you…I can admit that I fail at baking cookies, but love watching cartoons, because of you. I know a lot about World of Warcraft, Gears of War, and kicking our nephew’s butts at Halo, because of you. I laugh daily and talk your head off about Magic the Gathering (because of you!). I’m all of my great qualities, and even supported while indulging my bad ones, because of you. I could tick off so many more things (you helped me quit smoking and introduced me to blue cheese) but most of all …
Do you remember just how difficult it was for us to become parents, when it seemed that all around us were mommies to be. The pain that we felt at hearing that I’d never have children. But you stood by me, you stood strong, and never let me hate myself. You wouldn’t let me wallow, instead you loved me even more. And then – we got the amazing news. I’m a proud mommy – because of you.
Here we are today. Facing another challenge; one that affects everything about our lives. We deal with our “new normal” and face our challenges head on. You often lament that you don’t understand why I’m still here; why I've not left, and why I still love you. I’ve heard the same things from you over and over – you’re a burden, you’re a waste of time/space, you can’t do anything, you aren’t a good husband, the list goes on and on. But it’s not true. You aren’t any of those things. I’m still here because I love you. Even on your worst day, you are mine. I’m still struggling to find the words that clearly and confidently express my love for you.
I love you. And I swear it feels like I always have. I look at you and I know what you’re feeling, which comes in handy in our new normal. Sometimes I think about reincarnation, and the idea that soul mates always find each other. When I hold you at night, I know this to be true; I know that our souls have found each other. I trust that in our next chance at life, our souls will, once again, find one another, and our love will prevail.
With all my love,
This blog post is part of The Love Letter Campaign... a project started by FamilyOfaVet.com to encourage those who love a hero to write a letter sharing their story (where they started, what they've faced together, and why their love endures). It's not just for spouses, but also for parents, siblings, caregivers, and friends. It's about telling the "rest" of our stories... stories that continue despite PTSD, TBI, and the challenges of life after combat. To share your love letter or find out more about the campaign, visit http://www.familyofavet.co