Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Love Letter From Beyond

Once in awhile I find these real gems of Barry. I know it's him reaching out to me, letting me know he still loves me and cares about me, and misses and loves all of us. The other day I happened to find his school papers on his laptop, and while I haven't read them yet, they are there, and I do plan to get them printed and bound for the kids one day.

Today I found probably one of the best gems to date, so much so that I had to shut my bedroom door and just cry and cry to myself. I was packing up my bedroom, and found in a box that I had, a letter that Barry wrote me November 26th, 2004. I have read this many times, but not for at least two years. I packed it up in this box when we moved from our previous home, and never fully unpacked it. We often packed each other notes when he left for work as Truck Driver, and sometimes I would get lucky and he would send me a letter in the mail. This was one of those times. It struck me how fitting this letter was to our situation right now, especially the last few paragraphs. Little did he know he would pass in just a mere five years, but at least I have this to remind me of our love, and how much he loved me.

Barry was so eloquent in his writing. He was also a very private person, never fully sharing his feelings, but sometimes his feelings would surface, and the real Barry would show. I know how he felt about me, but to find this letter he wrote me, I felt he was reaching out to me again to remind me of how strong our love was, of how much he loved me, and cared about me. And now I am going to share it with you. It is long, be prepared, and have some tissues handy, as I sobbed like a baby when I read it. This letter was quite possibly one of Barry's finest, and really shows his true self.

11/26/04 Arlington, TX
My Dearest Joanna;
As you can see, I'm in Arlington, TX. I got into Fort Worth early and, surprisingly, they unloaded me immediately. So now I'm sitting in front of McLane's better than eleven hours before my scheduled delivery time. I only slept about four hours last night, but I'm not terribly tired. I figured, since you took the time to slip a note amongst my things, it would only be fair that I use some of my free time to write to you.
I really enjoyed the time we spent together at home. Through a character named Paul Edgecombe, Stephen King once wrote, "A man with a good wife is the luckiest of God's creatures, and one without must be the most miserable, I thing; the only true blessing of their lives that they don't know how poorly-off they are."
If there is a truer statement on marriage, I have never heard it. Sometimes I think that the reason I have such poor luck with the lottery or gambling is that all of my luck goes to having a beautiful and faithful wife and beautiful healthy kids. All in all, I am satisfied. Sometimes I think it's the little things that matter most. It might seem to be tedious, but all of the little things you do for me add up to one huge part of our relationship and our understanding of each other. The other day I threw out my garbage and found that I had no other grocery bags to put any more trash in. I ended up stretching out a tiny Taco Bell bag over the arm rest of the passenger seat. Hours later as I was preparing to go to sleep after my 36-hour day, I opened my green duffel bag and found that you had stuffed two handfuls of grocery bags in amongst my things. Despite my hardened nature, I was strangely touched that you had done that. Not that I'm going soft or anything, it only proves my theory of my personal dichotomy. As tough as I am and as ruthless as I can be if necessary, my wife and my kids inspire in me a love greater than I ever thought possible. If I were Superman, you would be my Kryptonite. No, maybe that's not right. You're not just my weakness, you're also my motivation. I do what I do because of you, for you.
I was driving along today and started thinking about all of the good things I have. I don't own a lot, but I have things that are the envy of those who do. How many rat-racing, keep-up-with-the-Joneses people can honestly say that they're happy with their home-lives? Despite what Tom Leykis says, I have a strong suspicion that he would trade it all for someone like you. Not just a hole and tits, but a friend and similar personality.
When we first met, I wanted this to go well. When we started getting ready to be married, I knew I was only going to do this once. I figured if I were to fail once, I'd continue to do so. But I don't believe that I envisioned us as we are now. Years later, I can't even recall what I thought our life together would be. I do know however, that my precognition fell way short of what it's really like. We don't just have sex and share a dinner table and then only exist. We have fun. We joke and fart and tease and touch. We kiss and say, "I love you" so much that the average observer probably thinks that we're newly-involved or perhaps the cheating espousage of unknowing partners. But we're not. We've been married for nearly five years, which makes us not only vets at this, but pretty much the authority on marriage. Just the idea that after so much time together we are still attracted to each other makes us pariahs in this society.
I still have cause to smile when I think of things you do or say. Like how you draw little faces, happy or sad, in your notes, as though to further emphasize your emotions on a certain topic.
Remember when we went on that marriage retreat to Chiemsee? Remember how, after the first session with the Chaplain, our kissing and holding hands started to become highly contagious? By the second session, every couple in there were doing the same as us. They looked at us and saw how they used to be, and how nice it was to be like that. Unlike many of them, however, we're still like that. That might leave us out of the "chic" scene or make us seem abnormal, but I'd rather have you then anyone or anything else in the world.
I know that I'm not usually one to say these types of things, but it is the way I feel. I'm often closed on the subject of emotion, but there are many factors about my life that govern my personality. Some of them you understand, but many will always be a mystery to you. I don't want you to ever feel like you're not appreciated or respected by me. I have more respect and admiration for you than I do for anyone else; even myself. You do the things that enable me to do what I do. For that I will forever be indebted to you, Joanna. I could live forever and never be able to repay you enough.
The Bible says that the wise man builds his house upon a rock, because building on sand will wreck the structure. You're the rock upon which I've built. You are what sustains the structure of our household. That may sound like a big responsibility, and it is. It requires you to not only depend, but be depended on. And you've done very well so far. And I have every confidence that my rock will stay steady.
Some country singer wrote a song called "She Thinks She Needs Me." The lyrics to that song are very pertinent to me. You think you need ME? I need you more than you need me, darling. Without you, I'm just a guy. With you I am anything I want to be; an unstoppable effigy that is able to do magnificent things.
Thank you, Joanna. Thank you for loving me and helping me. I love you. I love you more than words could ever hope to express.
Tell the kids I love them and miss them. I miss you. I love you.

Love eternal,
Me XOXO "XXXO" <-that's a porno kiss!

I love you too, darling. Forever.


Denise said...

What a blessing you were to each few people can ever share a love like you have with Barry. He continues to share that with you in these little gems...I have no doubt about that. Thanks for sharing this letter with us, it is a BEAUTIFUL treasure. I did not know Barry well, but you can hear his voice in the letter. I can also bet he'd HATE that you shared this with all of the world ;-) Maybe I'm wrong about that, but that made me laugh amidst my tears. He's right you are a rock. Hugs to you and the kids!!

Chrissy said...

I have kept every card, poem my hubby wrote... In fact he had a book of poems published and this was way before I met him... No, never made a best seller but his heart was in his writings... He even wrote a poem about when we got older, which he gave to me when I was 40... I look back on those cards and letters differently now.,.. He had so much love for me that it overwhelms me now...

LisaW said...

Beautiful! What a wonderful gift to receive, and what a blessing to find now! Thank you for sharing.

Dannah said...

Dear Joanna, You don't know me and I just happened to stumble upon your blog through your twitter account about 2-1/2 hours ago. I've spent those last 2-1/2 hours reading your blog. When I came to this one I just had to leave a comment to tell you that I have never in my entire life read a more beautiful love letter from a husband to his wife than the one your Barry wrote you. I've always wanted to receive a letter like yours and doubt I ever will this late in life (I'm in my 40s and have been single for 6 years).

I am now subscribed to your blog as I very much enjoy reading your very honest, if very sad at times posts. Your openness with talking about such sensitive things is refreshing and appreciated. I look forward to following you in the future.

I would like to follow you on twitter, as well, but certainly understand your desire for privacy. Should you want to check me out, I'm PalePinkPITA (P-ain I-n T-he A-ss). I'm really quite harmless and I'm a fellow Washingtonian with a yellow lab born about the same time as yours (wouldn't it be funny if they were sisters???) Have a great night, Joanna.