Letters to the Editor

War: On having to say goodbye

My Love,

I hope it doesn’t come down to you actually receiving this letter, but if it does, I want you to know just how much I love you.

Back in November when we first heard you may be leaving, I wasn’t worried. Something inside me assured me you wouldn’t go. But now, it’s nearing the end of January, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to shake the sorrow built up inside.

I’m scared. I’m scared that when we say “Goodbye,” it won’t be because you’re leaving, it’ll be because you’re not coming home.

In our 12 years together, we’ve had obstacles -– none of which we didn’t overcome, stronger as a couple. Looking back, those obstacles seem so trivial compared to what we now face.

I didn’t marry you for money, outward appearance, or your connections. I married because of your courage. I look up to you. I know deep down you’re terrified, but you don’t show it. You always take things as they come.You are proud of who you are, what you do, and why you do it. And no matter what, I will always love that about you.

The other day, I was showing our daughter pictures of people in the hallway of the hospital, who have served, and explaining what makes them special. I told her that those pictures represent a portion of many men and women who have and will continue to risk their lives for our freedom. I looked into her eyes, knowing a 3-year-old really doesn’t know what I’m saying. And somehow saw that in her own way, she really did understand.

It was a mixed blessing. I felt so proud that her daddy is among this group of men and women. And yet, to know that there may be a day – maybe even soon, that she will say ‘Goodbye’ to daddy. It scares me to know that she may only know OF you and not get to know the person I know you are. She will always know you love her. I will keep you in her life — no matter how hard it is.

But I do pray that you will come home to us. Please keep us in your thoughts, as we will you. If things get to tough to handle, remember that we love you and want you home safe and sound. We will miss you deeply.

Love,

Tai and Haeli Ralston

Oak Harbor

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