Thursday, May 14, 2015

American Wife

I started listening to Taya Kyle's book American Wife yesterday on Audible.
I'm not even halfway through it, and I have already cried tears of joy and sorrow, and laughed.
Listening to her voice read her words brings so much more emotion to the book.
You can tell by the way her voice chokes up when she's talking about her pain, and I love how she imitates her husband's (Chris Kyle AKA American Sniper) Texan accent when she quotes him. 
So far, it's a beautifully written love story about a woman deeply in love with a man with a deeply complicated job.

In her book, she includes a few emails that were written to her from Chris while he was deployed to Iraq.
As she reads those emails, I could feel tears well up in my eyes as I ran on the treadmill at the gym.
I couldn't help but think of the cherished emails I keep saved in my Yahoo account from Nick.
I don't really use my Yahoo email account anymore (does anyone?!?), and I've talked about just deleting the account several times.
But when I login to that account to delete it, I see the deployment emails.
The emails I would impatiently wait for, and obsessively check when he was deployed.
If I was lucky, I could respond to an email immediately, and he would respond back within minutes.
We would have entire conversations back and forth by email if I caught him while he was on a computer over there.
But my favorite emails...
Were the love letters...
My 6 foot tall, rough and tough Marine could write words that could warm my heart from the other side of the world in a combat zone.

From: "Romer SSgt Nicholas \(MEB-A HIMARS\)" <>
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2010 06:06:56 +0430
Subject: Hey sweet heart
I hope you feel better today baby.  We are waiting for the phones to come back up.  9th comm had to reconfigure everyones phones on this side of the base.  I told the Marines to come and grab me as soon as they are back up.  I love you so much.  how is Dannika doing?  Did Mrs McGowan give you some time off to get better?  I hope so.  I really miss you.  You can adjust your count down board to 7 weeks on Sunday!!!  I love you and cant wait to talk to you. 

The emails were usually brief, but they were my sanity.
It gave me comfort in those few lines that he was safe at the moment.

From: Romer SSgt Nicholas (MEB-A HIMARS)
Hey baby I just wanted to say I love you and miss you.  I ran out of time this morning.  The phone is being used for a conference call.  I will try and call you later.  I love you so so sosos so sos ososos so os much

From: Romer SSgt Nicholas (MEB-A HIMARS) <>
Subject: I have been thinking abou you.
Date: Thursday, April 15, 2010, 6:40 PM
There has not been 1 moment that I have not been thinking about you.  I day dream about you and I dream about you at night.  I love you so much.  I don’t know what I would do if anything ever happened to you or Dannika.  I wish I was there to protect you and take care of my ladies.  We were in RC yesterday so I couldn’t call. I left my together we served up but didn’t touch it so I wouldn’t get denied access.  I thought I would still be able to email out but I couldn’t.  I love you so much hana.  There is no way I could ever show you exactly how much I love you.  Your 2 packages made me smile.  I liked the definition.  Handsome man with big ears…    babe!!  Hahah  you are funny.  I miss you so much.  Thank you for the NESQUICK!!!  it is so delicious.  We passed our 90 day mark yesterday.  I think. Well close enough.  Well baby I have to go I will call you in a little while.  There is someone on the phone at the moment.  Oh and just so you know I really want to do dirty things to you ;)

From: Romer SSgt Nicholas (MEB-A HIMARS)
Hey sweetheart.  You know you can tell me anything.  I love you so much.  I am going to worry about you no matter what.  I love you more than life.  I know you will handle everything and it will be fine.  You are amazing.  I think about all those things all the time.  It is unbelievable how far we have come.  I remember when we first met.  I don't think I would have ever known life would be this great if I hadn't met you.  Our baby is so beautiful. She gets that from you.  Sorry I had to run earlier.  I had a forklift waiting on me.  There is so much going on.  Either way i am a busy man.  It will all pay off though.  I just got one of your letters this one was labeled 1804 at the top.  It had a pic of Dannika helping me drink my Newcastle.  I miss Newcastle.  Hah.  Well baby I have to go again.  I love you and I love Dannikwa.  Give her a kiss for me.  You are the low sodium soy sauce on my rice.

I can read these emails and be instantly taken back to that deployment.
I was a new mom, an active duty Marine on an extremely demanding assignment...
I was trying to hold it all together and be strong, but the reality was I broke down many times.
I bawled my eyes out in front of my SgtMaj when he came to do a recruiter eval on me.
He just stared at me blankly like I was crazy.

(recruiting duty trying my best to look happy for the camera)

I am so grateful that he's come home safe and sound from every deployment.
And as much as I wanted to NOT burden Nick with my worrisome heart and stressful life, sometimes, I just couldn't hold it in.
I'd lash out at him on the phone, and/or write him mean emails....
Then afterwards, I would feel terrible, and of course, I couldn't just pick up the phone to call him to apologize for being a jerk.
Sometimes I'd wait days upon days until he'd finally call, and a sense of relief would flood over me that I could finally apologize and end the call on a happy note.
I would/could never forgive myself if the last phone call I ever got with my husband was one of anger.

If y'all get a chance, I highly recommend the book American Wife.
For military spouses who have dealt with the agony of sending a loved one away on deployment, it is written beautifully in a way we can all relate to Taya.
For the service member, it's an awesome perspective of what a spouse goes through emotionally, physically, and mentally while "holding the fort down" at home.

And I recommend this book the most for civilians.
With all the "support the troops" hoopla that has been around since the war, I feel like a lot of civilians are out of touch with the reality of what military families go through.

This book will make you cry, make you laugh...
It'll make you appreciate the sacrifices of our military and those who support them!

Before Nick deployed, I recorded him reading a few books so that I could play them for Dannika.
She LOVED seeing daddy on the computer reading to her!

A few lucky times we got the Skype!!!
I would literally just keep the computer on and pointed at Dannika.
Nick would sometimes sit on Skype for an hour just watching her eat cheerios.


  1. <3 <3 <3
    I reread all of mine sometimes also. Some of my most treasured items!!

  2. Ooh, I will have to read American Wife. The book (and movie) American Sniper was so good.

  3. I want to read that book! I feel for Taya Kyle. I can't even imagine. I've seen a lot of her interviews and she seems so put together. A strong woman for sure.

  4. I love this. Those e-mails are precious reminders of how awesome your relationship is and how strong you are.


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