Ad 2:
2004-06-02 18:35:33 (UTC)


It's the day-to-day things that makes a marriage. Yes, I
know that's simplistic but it's still true.

Yesterday morning John woke up early and went out to get
the newspaper while I fixed us coffee--cafe au lait for me
and his with two sugars and a touch of creamer. We read
different sections of the newspaper and then traded, sharing
little bits and pieces of what we were reading. While he
showered I made breakfast. He had noticed the air pressure
on the van tires was low and added air to them while I made
his lunch. He reminded me to email Owen; I told him we
needed to think about having the carpets cleaned this month.
When we kissed good-by we both knew he would be back later
that afternoon. And he was.

I was married to Steven for almost a year but I wasn't
married in the sense of having a day-to-day life with him.
I had an apartment near the campus where I worked while he
was training in Alabama and then in Washington. We knew
when we married that he was going to Vietnam; it wasn't a

Our courtship was almost entirely by letter and so was a
good part of our marriage. I looked through that stack of
letters not long ago. We wrote about our future life,
declared our love for each other and shared our thoughts
about the new baby coming. He often drew in the corners
and the borders of the letters he sent me--vines, flowers,
leaves, birds. A few letters were sad and poignant; some
layered with unspoken fear and worry lying quietly under the
words about ordinary things, and others filled with passion,
hope and longing.

But the day-to-day life was missing. We never kissed
good-by thinking we would see each other again in a few
hours; we would kiss good-by knowing we wouldn't see each
other for days, weeks, or months. We both knew our last kiss
good-by on that early June morning when he left for Vietnam
might be the last one forever. And it was.