A Box of Letters


There is a box on our shelves.  A box that contains the 215 letters I wrote to my husband during his first deployment.  We have two other smaller bundles like it with letters I wrote to him during deployments two and three.

And I love these letters.  But they also vex me.

I have never read back through them.  Sometimes I want to, but it sure would take a lot of time.  Also I'm not sure I want to revisit some of the stuff I experienced, especially not during the second deployment when I miscarried and then went through unsuccessful fertility treatments alone.  Sometimes I see myself reading back through them when I'm elderly.  Like if my husband dies a couple days before I do, when we're old and gray.

But sometimes I imagine my daughter reading through them.  And thinking we're goofy dorks.  Or, even worse, that we're gross.  (Some of the letters got a little, ahem, Lady Chatterley's Lover at times.)  I kinda unnerves me to imagine my daughter reading them.  They're private.

But if they're private and I never want anyone reading them, what's the point of keeping them?

These letters are a piece of history.  This is how we ended up with first-hand sources from, say, the Civil War: letters soldiers wrote home from the front.  I can't get rid of them.  Do I lug them around through multiple PCSes in the future, hoping one day I read through them and smile but simultaneously hoping that my daughter never reads through them and sees my swear words and dumb sense of humor?  I imagine her reading them when my husband and I die and thinking "Geez, mom and dad were weird!"

I think too much.

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