During this time of separation from one another, the Pastoral Care Board will be sharing personal stories of how we’ve endured and even thrived through difficulties.
Our first “enduring” example is a love story from Allison Evans, Pastoral Care Board Chair:
My husband and I met when we were both active duty Naval officers stationed in Japan. We fell in love right away. I knew on our first date that I would marry him. The next day he told me that he knew it, too. We were immediately inseparable: we worked together and played together; we had all the same colleagues and friends. We were also on sea duty — deployable, according to the Navy. So, three months after our first date, Guy deployed to the Middle East for three months.
I missed him so much! This was in 1995, before the internet and the immediate communication via email and telephone that it enabled, so we were totally out of contact. Well, we had letters. They were our lifeline. My days took on a new shape. After work I would race to the post office to collect my mail. Military mail was spotty in those days, and it took weeks got mail to travel between Bahrain and Japan. But oh, what joy if there was a letter from Guy! I would read it breathlessly in the car, then again more slowly once I got home. After dinner I would turn on some music and settle into the sofa with a lap desk and a stack of stationery paper, and I would spend the whole evening writing to him.
We got to know each other in a different way through our letters. Although I counted the days until we could be together again, I also learned to treasure this new way of connecting. It’s a good thing, too, because that was just the first of many deployments, collectively totaling years apart. These repeated separations became a kind of fallow time for our relationship – with the letters a kind of nourishment — that made togetherness richer and our love stronger.
P.S. We celebrate 25 years married next month!