Wednesday, March 16, 2011

If You're Reading This

This past weekend Marine and I were cleaning and going through the million and one boxes he brought home with him from base. I mean you can only label so many boxes USMC stuff. We decided to go through and organize them better and to unpack the things he wanted.

One of the boxes was his deployment box. I start pulling things out touched, that he had kept all the letters I had sent him. I didn't realize just how many letters that was until you see them all stacked up together.

Now maybe I should say that we are out in the drive way with all this stuff strewn about. The sun was shining and it was a gorgeous day! Marine tells me he's going to go inside and get us something to drink. I reply "Ok," never looking up from the box I'm sorting.

I pull out his informational cards -- the cards that military members have to carry in their pocket in case something were to happen. These cards tell their blood type, religion, etc. In with these cards is a small plastic bag carefully folded with a piece of paper inside. It says my name.

I just stare at it.

I know what it is.

I glance toward the door and then back to the small bag in my hand.

'Do I ask to read it or just read it' flashes across my mind.

I glance at the door again.

No Marine.

Well it's easier to ask for permission than forgiveness.

I carefully pull open the bag and take out the letter.

You guessed it. It's was the "if you're reading this......" letter.

It was one lone page filled to the brim.

I read it the first time quickly, tears sliding down my cheeks. And then go back and read it more slowly.

I bow my head and say a prayer of thanks before sliding the letter back in the bag and placing it once again among the cards.

I place them within the box with the all the letters.

I dry my eyes as I hear Marine come back outside and slide my sunglasses back down.

He hands me a glass of water, "Sorry took so long Roommate called and I stood in the kitchen talking to him."

I just smile up at him as I take the water, "No problem. Thank you."

Then I stand up and hug him telling him again how much I love him and how nice it is to have him home.


Have you ever written an "in case letter"?"

Afterward this reminded me of the "How I Met Your Mother" episode in which Lily and Marshall write each other "in case" letters.

Who would you write to?

What would you say?

The letter struck a cord with me and made me realize for the hundredth time how lucky we are. I could not imagine reading that letter under other circumstances. But as I read it thats what it made me feel. Could I have done the things Marine asked of me? Would I have been strong enough?

I'm so thankful I will never know.

If you're reading this, my momma's sitting there
Looks like I only got a one-way ticket over here
I sure wish I could give you one more kiss
And war was just a game we played when we were kids

Well I'm laying down with my gun, I'm hanging up my boots
I'm up here with God and we're both watching over you

So lay me down 
In that open field out on the edge of town
And know my soul
Is where my momma always prayed that it would go
If you're reading this I'm already home

~ Tim McGraw ~


Date Girl said...

Wow...I just teared up reading this. I am so glad you never have to find out. It has me thinking about what ifs with Match's new job. I hope I never have to answer the door and see an officer standing there with dreaded news. I hope I never have to read a letter like that.

I haven't written one myself but that episode of How I Met Your Mother really makes me think that I should. I feel like I would be like Lily though and not be able to write it because the thought of leaving Match is just too painful.

I am so so glad your Marine is home safe and sound.

phoebe said...

talk about a tearjerker... i'm glad that you didn't have to receive that letter from other military people. does marine know you saw it/read it?