Monday, December 2, 2013

The Love Letter Campaign ~ You Are My Universe



 I can't believe I am the lucky one that gets to spend my life with you.  I knew you were someone special from the first moment I saw you.  You were so shy, you couldn't even look me in the eye.  I thought that was impossibly adorable.  I'm so glad I took the lead and went out to sit with you while you let your dogs run in the yard.  We started talking then, just a little bit, and I'm sure it was very awkward for you.  But later, when you chose to spend 5 hours at the lake talking with me, we got to know each other quite well.  We were inseparable after that.  Everyone said it was too fast, and how could we trust each other, and what if thus and such happened.  But I knew I had found the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, and you did too.  We were married 2 months later, and it was the happiest day of my life.  When you looked in my eyes and teared up as you said "I do" I just wanted that moment to last forever.  

We've been through quite a lot in our first year.  Traveling an hour one way for all your VA appointments, getting to explore the city with you by my side, window shopping, moving, spending a month without you while you tied up the loose ends with your schooling, snowmobiling in and out from the house to get to appointments and to run errands, dealing with a dog that is getting older, adding a new furry baby to our little family, and dealing with VA claims and doctors and living 5 hours from the nearest medical center.....
I don't regret a single moment of any of it.  As long as I share my life with you, I am ready to face any adventure and any hardship.

I remember right after I met you when you told me matter-of-factly that you did not have PTSD.  I questioned this statement, but didn't say anything to you at the time.  After living with you for a couple months, and hearing from you about things your therapist had said or done, I didn't care for her very much and I felt like she was misleading you.  I'll never forget the morning when you had such an early appointment that we stopped for breakfast on the way back home.  I remember you confiding in me about the PTSD you had experienced when you first got home from your tour, as we enjoyed our meal.  This gave me even more question marks about what you had been told regarding this diagnosis and claims.  After we moved and you had to switch all your VA care, you asked me again if I thought you had PTSD, and showed me some of the paperwork you had from several years ago.  After reading it and based on what I had noticed, I told you that I was pretty sure you did.  You decided to try to file a claim for it.  I remember how nervous you were, and how you thought they would summarily dismiss the claim, since your therapist had told you that you did not have "enough" to claim it.  I remember how little time it took for the doctor to talk to you, and the long drive back home.  Then we waited for the letter.  When we received it, you had me open it because you were so anxious about what it would say.  When I read that they had approved your claim and you now had a rating for PTSD, you were so surprised.  

I remember later that day when you admitted you had cried during the evaluation.  I was so proud of you for standing up for yourself! And I was so thankful that you have finally been able to get what you deserve instead of continuing to be minimized by someone who could not do their job correctly. 

You are my hero.  I am so proud of who you are, and I love you endlessly.  I can't wait to share many more years with you as my partner in this adventure we call life.  I hope that I will be able to always be there for you, as you are always there for me.  

I love you, J.

Submitted By: Your Wife, Sarah

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, visithttp://www.familyofavet.com/love_letters.html.

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