Monday, October 10, 2005

Sometimes it's GOOD to be a Packrat!

Here's an excerpt from an email I received today from a guy I met in High School, when we worked together at Walmart:

It's been a long 14 years, man has time flown by. I was thrilled when I made contact with you, wasn't sure that I would be able to. I know that the question of why after all these years am I looking you up? Well the biggest reason is to tell you Thank You. During my 9 months spent in the gulf war, I was actively writing to you and to over 40 different people whom I have never met from all over the U.S.. After the war was over and I returned back to the states I had put the war letters in a box and sealed them up. Over the years I have always kept you and the other folks on my mind, wondering what everyone was doing, where are they now, do they have families, etc? Some of those people were 10 yrs old at the time and now are grown adults.

After 9/11 happened and when the U.S. went again back to Iraq, memories and feelings from when I was in the war had come back. I kept thinking about everything that happened while I was there. So a couple months ago I took out the box of war letters, which had been sealed closed for the past 14 years, and began to re-read the letters. I read about 250 letters from you and everybody else. Yes I have every letter you sent me. When I finished reading the letters I realized just how much you and the rest of America truly were behind us being in the war. But more personal to me was the fact that so many people like you Nancy were supporting me. You kept me in your heart, thoughts, and prayers while I was there. You helped to keep me motivated and keep focused on doing my job so that I could come home safely. It's a feeling that I can't explain, I guess you must have to be in battle to understand. Now that I have grown older over the years I have learned to appreciate things more. What everyone and you did for me really did mean something to me during the war and you did make a difference out there. Nancy I will always hold a place in my heart and memories for you and the others who cared and supported me while I was at war, until my dying breath. And for all that you did, from the bottom my heart I THANK YOU!! You meant a lot to me. Sorry it took 14 years to tell you. I should of told you when the war was over.

So what does this have to do with being a packrat? Well, it just so happens that somewhere in my attic is a rubbermaid container with most, if not all, of the letters that Pat wrote to me from the war, and some pictures he sent. Now that he has a wife, daughter, and step-daughter, I'm sure he'll want to share those memories and thoughts with them. I suggested he could use them to put together a journal of his war experience.

I know they are there because just last year I was digging through them to find and send a picture of a soldier to another wonderful family.

Why did I keep all these things for so long? Maybe God had a plan....


Heidi said...

Ok Nancy this is about 11 months late but I have been thinking of what to say. First, THANK YOU for the photo of Sean in his boots. I am happy to have it and know that Colin will be happy someday soon. For 7 years I gave Sean a hard time for not having that picture and for 7 years I moved the photo of the two of you across the US and to Germany and back. Isn't that funny! I am sure many would have just thrown it out but it represented a part of Sean's life . . . a life that ended way too soon. It took me several months to make a connection to the Nancy that sent the photo, the Nancy in the photo I had, and Texas Bug. One day it just clicked and I thought . . . OH, that Nancy. My mind was not too sharp at that time. Again, a huge thank you!

Glad the blog is back; I missed you over the summer!

Kathryn said...

Glad your back ... love the new look.

texasbug said...

I'm so glad to hear from and you and I was really thrilled to find your blog. I felt sure you didn't know the connection with me and my blog, but I couldn't think of a good way to explain it and figured it didn't matter anyway. For however many years I kept intending to try and find the Sims' address and mail the photo to his dad, but I had no good way of doing that so I just hung onto it. Like you, I kept thinking most people would've just tossed it, but I couldn't do it. Pretty hilarious that my picture has been to Germany!

I'm sorry we never had the chance to meet or speak before this. I always thought maybe I'd run into y'all at an Aggie football game or something and we could all meet. Instead, I ran into the Zimmerman's last Ocotober!

I'm looking forward to more on your blog...especially pictures of that precious boy you have!!

bigwhitehat said...

This is my first time here. I skipped over to you from Rae's place. I am glad I did.

You seem to be a good sort and I loved this post.

I’ll be back. Don’t be scared to pop on over.

Mountain Mama said...

God always has a plan. It will be fun to see this one unravel.
It was so good of you to write encouragement to Pat, and keep him in your prayers.