Saturday, September 04, 2004

Your Lives

September 4, 2004

It’s a constant struggle for us to maintain our relationships at home while we are here. It’s hard to consistently stay in touch with all of our friends and family. It’s almost impossible for us to let everyone know we are okay. It’s exhausting trying to explain over and over what this is like, how we feel, how much longer we have, etc.

Thank goodness for mass e-mails – the most impersonal and least intimate form of corresponding there is. For us, however, it’s a godsend.

I apologize to everyone I have disappointed over the last year. I am sorry I am missing so much. I am devastated that my personal decisions have taken me away from so many important moments in your lives. I am sorry I have missed countless weddings, births, holidays, funerals, and reunions. I am sorry I haven’t hugged you or your new child. I am sorry I haven’t called. I am sorry I don’t e-mail as often as I should. I am just so sorry.

Many people I talk to tell me it doesn’t matter as long as they know I am okay, but I know it has to matter. It matters to me. The best part of my day is when I open my e-mail and see so many familiar names. We all look forward to it.

I’ve had a heavy heart about this for a while now. I feel as if I am disappointing some important people in my life due to circumstances beyond my control. The phones work sporadically, the internet is often down, and the time difference is a huge liability. I am finishing my day just as you are beginning yours.

You would think it’s easy for us to pick up the phone but it’s not. This part I can control, however. So many times, we have the opportunity but we simply don’t have the energy. We live this chaos every minute of every day and talking about it all the time is daunting. I am so sorry.

I guess I feel responsible because I know how scary it is for you all to know I am here amidst this conflict. I know how much you worry. I know you miss me. I know you want me home. I want the same thing.

I have just a few short months to go and I am nervous about coming home because I am afraid some may resent me. I am afraid people will resent that I have missed their wedding, the birth of their first child, moments in their lives they will never get back. I can only say I’m sorry.

I think a lot of us share the same feeling. We feel a huge responsibility to take care of business here and at home. This may sound crazy to you but it’s true. We worry about the disconnect, the lost time, the moments in your lives we will never experience with you. We long to be there. We’re sorry we’re not.

It’s hard for us to look at pictures – to see faces we barely recognize, to see couches we’d like to sit on, to see cars we want to drive, to see clothes we want to wear, to see hands we want to hold, to see people we want to hug. It’s hard for us to hear about what we are missing, and perhaps it’s easier for us to ignore it than to face the hurt that accompanies it. We guard our hearts ferociously. It’s unbelievable the wall we build, the front we adopt, the sadness we suppress.

I told you a few weeks ago that I have yet to cry. The tears have finally started flowing, my friends. They are no longer teetering on my eyes; they are now glistening on my cheeks. I’ve realized how much I am missing, how detached I feel, how sorry I am.

I guess I am finally allowing myself to feel this entire experience – not just what is happening here, but also what is happening at home. This deployment doesn’t make me cry. The very important moments of your lives make me cry.

With Love,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

well I for one was really glad that Meg forwarded me your emails and then I started getting them from you directly. From gymnast to soldier, you command respect, Addie. I am super proud to have you as a friend b/c I think you're all heart.

If folks did not catch Access Hollywood on 5/4/05 you missed something GREAT. Addie is da bomb! Even the stars commented on how amazing she is.

Rock on addie,

-melissa riggs
oh - bragging mom needs to show everyone what a cutie my girl is:

7:17 AM  

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