There is a saying “Home is where the heart is” and if that’s the case, mine is floating in the middle of a body of water somewhere aboard the USS ‘we’re going to kick your ass’*.

*(some names have been changed to protect the identities of those involved…**snicker**)

Many of you who follow this blog know the whole story.  Scott left in March, tragedy after tragedy has struck our home as only it would while he was gone.  I’m determined to believe that the military invented Murphy’s Law.   When you get married that should be the class they offer you in preparation for your lives together….

Recently I was asked to write a short article about my husband and why he is an American Hero.  I couldn’t say no…it was an opportunity to share with the world what life is really like, for both of us.  To take those in the line at Starbucks and make them understand exactly why they are able to be in that line.  We are so shrouded in blindfolds that when that day happens that the blindfolds are removed we all stand there and stare at each other saying “Wow…how come I never saw this before”.  We see what we want to see, we hear what we want to hear (this is very true in the case of men) and we will accept and acknowledge only that which fits into our perfect bubbles at the time.

I received a letter from my husband yesterday, yes, a hand written letter, written on printer paper because that was all he had…it’s the prettiest paper ever!  He mailed the letter on Aug. 2, 2011 and it arrived Oct. 16, 2011.  Good thing his postage was free.  He also mailed a postcard from his last port to each of our sons.  I emailed him that they finally arrived and his response was  “sure does shed some light on the GIs of the old day, and the whole ‘wait for me’ phrase from a GI to his girl”.  He was also glad that that wasn’t our only means of communication.   The military spouses that came before us truly were ladies in waiting.  I know I wake up everyday wondering if my husband is ok but I can at least receive an email stating so…

In the letter my husband writes “I keep listening to the Eminem & Rihanna song “Love the way you lie”.  It’s awesome music but if you listen to the words, it sounds like two people who constantly cannot get along.  Good one day, bad the next.  I only think of the Navy.  That’s sad, huh? ….he goes on to say “Every time I hear ‘you’ or ‘her’ I replace it with the word ‘Navy’.  I know when they say “If it stops being fun, it’s time to move on” we have some time before that happens”.

The art of a hand written letter is almost non existent.  However, the power it possesses is more powerful than any ammunition the world has.  A letter can fit into your pocket, you can carry it around, read it whenever you need to, hold onto those words like you were clinging to life.  Imagine what a note from home can truly do to a soldiers mind and spirit.  You can’t take a computer onto the battle field but you can carry the ink of a loved one with you where ever you go.

I don’t think the Navy understands the kind of sailor they have.  No matter how hard it is, no matter how many tragedies, stress points, deal breakers he gets, he is still dedicated to his job and defending this country.  I wish everyone had the work ethic my husband has.  What a wonderful world it would be.  Imagine integrity in every facet of life…talk about an action movie.

You wonder, how does a man at sea for months and months stay connected to their love back home?  That is a good question…this is the answer my husband offered in his letter…unprovoked by me 🙂 “I am lucky to have met you on that pier.  It was God’s hand and it is still his guidance to keeping my heart tuned in to my feelings for you.  I recognize them every day.”   That is a decision he makes everyday to honor me, to love me and to choose me over him.

That is why I wrote the article for Goddess Magazine, because it is my way of honoring the man who chose me, who chooses me every day and who will until the day he dies, love me.  It’s the least I can do.

I read this article to two friends the other day and started crying while I was reading it.  I guess I had no idea just how much I bottled up.  Other than a few grammatical errors I noticed ( writing when you are emotional is not suggested) it’s not too bad….click on the link and it will take you to a pdf version of the article.

A special Thank you to Goddess Magazine for their support of our troops,  asking me to do this and allowing me to share not only my story but the story of so many spouses around the world.

Tracie Stern’s Tear Sheet