Communication with my husband on his aircraft carrier can be spotty. We don’t have the luxury of Skype (video conferencing) because their internet connection is basically the speed of dial-up service from 10 years ago. Phone contact is virtually non-existent too, unless they are in port (very rarely). Still, you won’t catch us complaining. When I think about my mother-in-law who got by on telegrams and sporadic letters that took weeks or months to arrive 30 years ago, I am so very grateful for the daily contact that a simple email can provide. There’s something intimate too, about writing to your spouse again. We dated long-distance for the first year of our relationship — and the letters we sent are still something I treasure. There’s something that flows differently in writing for me — with emotions stripped and text laid bare. It’s easier to pour out feelings, secrets and admiration…the written word is powerful and connective. We are SO blessed to have it available each day.
One of the best parts of our daily email is for my son Liam. He receives short videos from daddy, but I encourage him to write as well, and so we do. He just dictates what he wants to say and I type (often furiously if you’ve met him and know how fast he talks). I love that his letters are gushing with love–and show how his young, four-year-old mind is coming to grips with the separation from the person that probably means the most to him in his whole world. I don’t coach him and I don’t censor him, so what he says is just what daddy gets. And, he always adds his own typed “message” at the end along with his name. They bring joy to us, and an occasional tear–but more than anything, a sense of closeness. So while daddy is out of sight, he is never, ever out of our hearts. Especially Liam’s.
Letters to Daddy – from Liam
Please come back in another day. I can’t wait to see you — and I like Scooby Doo. And chicalay (ed: chik fil a) is so fun. And I love still my daddy and I can’t wait to see him. Can’t wait to pick him up. And I love you so much.
I was good at school. We made surfborads and people, but miss susan is going to stick people surf on our surfboards. I brought your Navy coin for show and tell.They liked it.
I did bob the builder mazes with mommy and painted them.
I was good at the pizza place. I ate cheese pizza. Then we went to a different playground at the beach. I just surfed on the surfboard and went down the fire pole and played with all my friends.
I love you. goodnight daddy.
wlllgjujnjbghuihncjb tb jhijtyjhikjh hkoh ukuokjk
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liam (he typed that by himself)
When are you going to come back? Daddy I love you so much. Can you help me to feel better? My daddy is so good. I just went to church and the store and came back home.
Please come home. And dear daddy I love you so much. Dear daddy thank you for going on a ship and maybe it’s two or four more days or maybe five. And daddy I love you. And great grandma is still good. And my daddy is working for so long. Let’s sing one more song, “thanks for doing our help….duh duh duh”
Daddy I went to two parties today, the swimming pool, then miss Patricia’s. I swam, jumped of the diving board and slide. There was music and I danced.
At Mrs. Patricia’s we had food and friends. We found a turtle in the yard.
Please send me another video.
I love you
I love you so much and I love you. Mrs Sonia came to my pool today — and I love Mrs Sonia. And I still love you daddy. Whenever you come back I will be happy. And I love you forever and I miss you sooo much. And daddy, please wait to get home and wrestle with me every day when you come back home. And I love you and my daddy is so good. And I pray forever and I love my daddy, and mommy and finn and I love all you guys. And I love you daddy for all the days you give me. And I can’t wait for you to get home because I don’t know when you will come home. And I will wait for you because we are marking off the days. If you give me presents then I will be so happy, and I love you daddy for the rest of the day. And I can’t wait for you to get home. And daddy fly off the ship for a long time before you get home. Now we are going to watch a bedtime story (eta: Mike recorded bedtime stories on video before he left).