This is a letter I wrote for my friends and family when my husband deployed on
April 25th, 2001 with the USS Enterprise.
Here are some pictures i took this morning as i stood on the dock, huddled with
other wives, husbands, and family members, waving to our loved ones standing on
the back of the ship. I watched through teary eyes as Dan stood against the
rail, waving, blowing kisses and snapping pictures of me from time to time. I
tried to smile but it was just too hard.
Trying desperately to compose myself in front of others, i stared at him,
trying to burn his face into my memory, because i know it will be six long
months before i can touch him again. But my heart sinks lower as i hear the
sound of music begin to play across the water, Lee Greenwood's "Proud To Be an
American", a song that will never have the same sound, or meaning to me again.
It took everything God gave me not to kick and scream and pull my hair out and
jump in the water in front of me that was separating me from my love, my life,
I stood frozen, that panic building inside me, tears streaming down my face as
people around me yelled out to their loved ones "I love you", and they yelled
I watched as the ship pulled farther away and he began to turn into the blur
that was the crowd of sailors standing around him. I waved my arms over my head
hoping he could still pick me out in the distance. The ship began to turn at
the end of the pier and floated slowly out of sight, but we stood there anyway.
One by one, we picked up our aching hearts and retreated. I pulled myself into
the truck and buried my face in my hands and cried like a baby as the grief
just completely overwhelmed me. I sobbed all the way home as i tried
desperately to stay in my own lane on the road. I thanked God as i thought of
the young, pregnant woman standing next to me on the pier. My heart goes out to
her, for this is her first separation from her husband, and her first child,
who will be born while he is away. I thanked God because that is a sadness i
have never known, i was lucky. And i am lucky still, for this is my last
separation from my love. And knowing that will help me through it this one last
When i got home i looked at my children so innocent of all this so far. I
hugged them to me because i know in a month they will begin to realize what we
meant when we tried to tell them that daddy will be gone on a long journey.
They will begin to ask questions, and when they get tired of me, they will cry
for their dad and i will hug them then, and i will cry with them. We will miss
him together and we will be here together when he comes back to us.
As i sit here now i wonder if he hears me. Can he hear my heart talking to
him... telling him how much i love him, how much i already miss his face, his
touch. i hope he will be safe and i will pray (yes.. i WILL pray) that he will
be safe out there, wherever he is. I love you honey. Thnx to all my friends who
have been calling and checking up on me, i really appreciate that. And thanx in
advance to all my friends who will be hearing from me more than they want to
over the next six months. *S*