I remember when Ben first told me he wanted to join the Army. We were engaged, and planned on being "poor starving college students" for awhile. I was scared. I didn't want this man I loved doing such a scary job. However, he convinced me it was what he wanted to do. I remember asking him why he couldn't be an accountant or an insurance sales person. Why couldn't he do a "safe job"?
I also remember where I was when the planes hit the towers on September 11. So many of us do, and will forever. Suffice it to say, I was safe and Ben was safe. The accountants and the insurance sales people that worked in the towers that day, were not. I remember talking to Ben about how scared I was when he first joined the Army. I reminded him of the "safer" jobs that I wish he had pursued. I remember telling him that there was "no such thing" as a safe job anymore. Our world had changed.
Now I sit in my new house in California. I wonder if I will ever feel safe again. I have unpacked most of the boxes that I brought with me. I have a stash in my garage that I consider "unsafe". They are marked papers. The translation to me is cards and letters, pictures, things that are sure to break my heart all over again. I will go through them. I will save them and cherish them. I just need to be a little stronger.
Today I opened what I considered a "safe" box. It was marked board games. Although it was sure to bring back many memories of us playing together with our kids and our friends, I felt I could handle it. As I opened the box the first thing I saw was Ben's wallet, then pictures of us when Olivia was first born. I found myself crumpled up on the floor crying over this so called "safe" box and the memories it contained. I cherish those memories, but they remind me of all that I have lost.
I realized there is "no such thing" as a safe box. My world has changed. Each of these boxes hold memories of our fourteen years together. Of the life we have shared. The love we shared. Of the man that I am missing and will continue to miss for the rest of my life.