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Personal Essay

1460 words - 6 pages

The air was warm, the beams of sunlight shined on my skin, and the sweet laughter of my daughter came as she ran about. I could hear the bark of the neighbor’s dog in the distance, the scraping sound of a jogger's sneakers on the gravel sidewalk and I could smell the sweet aroma of the ripening peaches coming from the tree in our backyard. It was a brilliant summer day just like any other. My husband, Matthew, pulled in. Our daughter ran to him as he walked up the drive, “Daddy, Daddy,” she shouted as she wrapped her arms around him, embracing him with love. My husband sat beside me and began to speak. My heart began to beat slowly and erratically at first, my eyes began to burn in their ...view middle of the document...

I awoke just as the sun was rising over the horizon. My husband quietly walked in to our daughter’s room and carried her outside. We sat holding each other, holding our daughter watching the sun rise. The sunrise was so beautiful I remember the colors and intensity of the light was just enough to calm me slightly. The sun was like a great big romantic, inspirational fire in the sky. It was as if a powerful symphony was quieting down, becoming more emotional and beautiful as it dies down. This moment should have been one of the greatest but all I could think of was the dreadful day ahead. As the sun made its appearance for the day we sat there. I sat still as a stone, not wanting to or able to move as if the blood in my veins had turned to stone itself. I did not move until my husband came and lifted me, taking my hand he told me not to worry. I knew he was leaving and I had to fill myself with just enough confidence that I would see him again just to move.
The morning moved so slowly. It was as if everything was moving in slow motion but my mind was moving at fast forward. As soon as our nanny came through the door my husband and I walked out. It was time to take my husband to his command post. This deployment was so under wraps I wasn’t even able to drop him off at the airport. Everyone walked in together, as if we were all in-step. As if we had rehearsed this day many times. There was a meeting to be held for the wives of the unit. We were to be given all the information as to how to send letters and care packages. I can recall the grief that hung in the air hung like a thick, wool blanket that draped over all of us. There were no smiles, only sorrow. It felt as if time itself stood still; that it was just a horrible nightmare, and I was trying to escape. Desperately trying to come out of the darkness that was my new life. I don't remember the sun, getting into the car, nor the drive back home. The image of my husband walking away replayed itself over and over again in my mind. I spent that day bounded in my thoughts both physically and mentally.
Weeks went by. As I lived my life as a robot would, programed and prompt to complete task, with no emotion, simply receiving a series of numeric inputs and transforming them to tasks. I sat and watched out the window every night. Waiting. Not waiting for Matthew to come home, but waiting for the two uniformed servicemen to walk up to my door. Waiting for the chaplain to offer his condolences. Waiting, watching the sun set and the moon rise. Waiting to be notified of my husband’s death.
A number of weeks had passed before I began my first letter to my husband. “Matthew,” it sat in that state for about a week. I could not find the words...

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