Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Letter to my Wife on her Birthday

Dear Rachael,

As you know, I am pretty bad when it comes to being an emotional person. In fact, I suck at it. Every year, I try to write something nice and sensitive in a card for you, and every year you smile and lie and tell me how nice it was. In fact, I vaguely remember trying to write poetry about 8 years ago - HAHA - what a joke that turned out to be. So we both know where my strength is not. This year, however, I am not home for your birthday or Christmas, so my lame attempt at telling you how I feel in a Hallmark card will have to wait another 365 days (wait, 366 - stupid leap year!) Instead, this year, I've decided to lay it all out to bare for anyone on the internet to read. I figure 8 years from now, this could pass the poetry as the lamest thing I've ever done.

Since I've been in this miserable place 6000 miles away from you, I've had alot of time to reflect on our relationship. 126 months ago (that's 10 1/2 years to the math impaired), you and I sat awkwardly in my parents basement watching Cheers, since my sister and John W. kindly left us alone (finally!) That was the start of it (sorry folks, PG content only here - haha just kidding Mr Becker nothing happened I swear!) And as we both know, it was a week later on the steps of your parents house that we both thought there might be something special, when we talked for 6 hours straight about nothing because someone else was in your basement (sorry Shana, your going down too). At least that's when I thought I had someone special; I don't think I EVER talked to someone for that long before, let alone a girl. The rest of the summer was great and we had alot of fun until it was almost time for school to start up again and for us to part ways. Sensing that we had to make some sort of verbal acknowledgment of this, we talked and agreed to "cross that bridge when we got to it", using the phrase that has dogged us ever since.

As the weeks turned into months, and the months gave way to years, we grew from just boyfriend/girlfriend to best friends, and the sacrifices we made for each other weren't that at all to us - they were invaluable opportunities for us to see each other. Whether it was me walking to the train station in Chester at 5am to see you in Princeton, or you riding the train from Princeton to Richmond, we would never pass up even the slightest chance to see each other. Eventually I was given a car that was a campus security favorite at Princeton and things got a little easier, since we were just a 45 minute car ride from each other. Well, they were easy until Sunday morning when I had to go beg for the boot to be removed. Then I graduated and the Army, in all its life-changing power, stationed me as close to you as they could. As many breaks that haven't gone our way, this might have been the one "break" that worked in our favor, because a 5 hour drive from Fort Drum to Princeton was always the highlight of my month. Not to mention all the concerts I was privy too as a result of that drive! (concert = me signing at the top of my lungs to stay awake)

The funny thing about the distance is that there isn't one time I can remember questioning why I was doing what i was doing, and not one second I wasn't wishing you were with me, and not one day I could let go by without recapping it with you. Even in Afghanistan, the one thing I could look forward to was pulling the note you wrote me for that day from the magic box you made me before I left. There, as I can here, I had alot of time to think, which is why before I left that country I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you. Not that there was ever any doubt before that but, rather, I knew I couldn't wait another second. No more bridges!

Ok, we both know that life is full of bridges now. Its inevitable. So we got married and I worked 3rd shift, but we were together. It wasn't so bad, with Chester waking me up every evening when you got home from work so we could eat dinner together. It was inconvenient, but we were together. Now I've been gone for the last year and its alot more inconvenient, and there are times when I just don't think I can last another second over here. Its those times that flip open my wallet to the faded and worn picture of you and I together and smile a little, because I know that soon, a decade of being apart will come to an end. And then we can let our happiness truly begin.

Happy Birthday, see you soon and I Love You!!



Erin said...


That was so beautiful and so thoughtful. What a great present to give Rachael! She is so lucky to have such a great guy who loves her so much, and you are as equally lucky to have someone who loves you and supports you through it all!!! SOOOO SWEET!
Love ya,

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 12/17/2007 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

lela said...

Amazingly emotional for an unemotional person...this one out-Hallmarks all those Hallmark cards. The beauty of this wonderful letter is that you recognize that family is everything and sometimes all that holds us together. Happy Birthday Mrs Jason.

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