Sunday, January 25, 2009

Burn Letter: A bad country song and a really good sermon

For just a little while I'm going to talk about some things that I normally would avoid mentioning in everyday conversations. We had an, um, interesting week around here. Not interesting in a good way...interesting in a way that brings about a lot of panic. But that's not really the things I want to go into detail about. I would rather talk about one thing that these events this week brought to mind: the burn letter.

You may be wondering what a burn letter is. Its not something I ever want to be the recipient of. A burn letter is what I call the letter soldiers write on deployments that is only to be given to their families in the event of their death. Sometimes they carry it with them on parts of their deployments and other times they may leave it with someone they trust if they have to go into a particularly dangerous area for a while. When the deployment is over and there is no use for such a letter anymore they are burned all together. That's why I call it a burn letter. Its never meant to be read.

I've asked G.I. Joe numerous times what was written in his burn letter. He won't tell me though. I guess maybe its sacred or something. My thing is why would a person want to wait until they have died to say certain things? This concept really bothers me. Not just with that particular situation, but with relationships in general. People are always holding onto the wrong things and putting off saying how they really feel. Isn't that what relationships need, though? Communication? Life that we are living daily is dependent on relationships. Its our relationships with God and with each other that make the world go 'round.

One month our pastor did a series of sermons that provides the answer to this issue. Ask yourself, "What would I do or say if I only had 30 days to live?" There is also a really depressing country song to this affect called "Live like you are dying." The principal is a powerful one. So many people are scared of death but most don't realize that by being to afraid to say what they need to say that they aren't truly living.

My challenge to you is this: write your "burn letters" now. Say what you would say to people if you only had 30 days to live. Don't wait until there is a "close call" or until someone is gone. Tell the ones you love how thankful you are for them and mend whatever relationships are broken. I'm not just preaching this, I'm actually going to do it. And I'll start here:

G.I. Joe~I honestly can't imagine what life was like before I met you. There is no one else I'd rather grow old with. Being apart has been so hard but if I had to choose between being with someone who was around everyday and only seeing you 1 day a year for the rest of my life, I'd still pick you. A weekend with you is worth so much more than week after week with anyone else. You are my soul-mate.

Mom and Dad~I don't know how you do it. You have taken care of me through my toughest hours of these last few years. Being a parent now I can truly see and appreciate how much you all have loved me over the years and I feel so blessed to have you as my parents.

Grandma and Grandpa~You all have always been like a safe hide-a-way to me when things got hard. If I ever I need to "run a way" to someplace I'd want to run a way to your house. I know what will meet me there is the biggest hugs, mashed potatoes, and hours of laughing until our stomachs hurt.

Sarah and Brian~You know, I always thought of you all more as my big sister and big brother. I know I can count on you all at any time. And thank you for all the babysitting opportunities! You all have 2 terrific kids. So terrific that watching them grow and being a part of their life is really the reason I always wanted to have a child.

My in-laws~No matter how much we talk or see each other I want you both to know something: you brought a little boy into the world who grew up to be the man I love and share my life with. For that, I will always be thankful.

Chrissy~We've seen each other through so much. I don't know what I'm going to do if we move out of state anytime soon. Can I just pack you up and take you with me? :) Haha...I really couldn't ask for a better Best Friend.

For all my extended family~I cherish the memories that I have with each and every one of you. I can't wait to bring Lucy up to meet you all and I hope and pray that she'll be able to make many awesome memories with you too over the years.

To all my Birth club mommies: (I'm not naming names here because I don't want to forget anyone) How can perfect strangers end up being such dear friends? I'm so thankful you all are always there when I've needed someone to talk to. From long pregnant days to the endless colic nights, I really don't feel alone because I know I have the support of you amazing ladies!

Okay, now its your turn :)
I promise a lighter post will be coming soon!


Susan said...

To Our Daughter Jacqueline, God blessed our family with you almost 23 years ago. We have watched as you have grown into a young lady of God. You are truly a blessing to us, and we are so very proud of you. It has been our honor to walk alongside of you especially during these past few years. Although you may not realize this, you are the strongest person we know. It has been your faith and trust in God that has carried you through the most unknown times in your life. We are thankful to have had a part in His plan for you. Whatever you need, you know we’ll always be here for you. We love you, Darlin’!

To Our ‘Son’ Michael, God blessed our family also when you became our ‘son’. You are so much more than an ‘in-law’ to us, and we want you to know it. We see how much love you have for our daughter, and the man of God you are. It brings so much pride to us when we tell people that our son serves our country and protects his family through his military service. We are thankful that God’s plans for you brought you into our family. God truly blessed our family when He chose you for our daughter. We want you to know as well that we are here for you anytime you need us. We love you, son!

You both have given us the most precious gift that we could have ever hoped for. Lucy is such a blessing to us and we love her very much! Thank you for entrusting her in our care, and for giving us the opportunity to nurture and grow our relationship with her. We look forward to having the same closeness with Lucy as we have with both of you. God has many good things ahead for Lucy, and we are blessed to be a part of her life. We love you, Lucy!

No matter where life’s road takes your family, you all always have home with us.

With All Our Love, Dad and Mother

Madison said...

I love this post. What a wonderful idea, saying the things we want to say while we have the chance instead of waiting until it passes us by. I might just write my own Burn Letter blog :-)

Grandma said...

Hey Precious---

Loved and appreciated your comments to your "old" Grandma & Grandpa!! Anytime you want to "run a way", grab your back-pack (with tiny precious Lucy in it), and come on over to your "other" home! We will have lots and lots of hugs, bushels of mashed potatoes---and then laugh & laugh & laugh-(at each other!).

We have truly been Blessed by God with our beautiful grandchildren, Jacqueline & Michael, Rachel Dean & Luke, and baby Lucy !! We are very, very proud of all of you, and dearly Love each and everyone !
(Susan & Dan, Sarah & Brian ---- we LOVE you too!!!!!)

Gods Blessings to all, Grandma & Grandpa