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.