Embrace the Cliche Part IV

Moving On, Moving Out

The summer of 2007, Mathew was at Marines Corp boot camp in Parris Island, S.C. I was still in Florida, working my summer job at Wendy’s and waiting for him to come home. The minute his mom gave me his address at church that Sunday, I began writing him letters. I wrote to him, telling him how great things were at home, how much I missed him and I couldn’t wait to see him in August. I added a picture of myself and sent the letter off.

After three weeks, I sent him another one, not sure if he ever received the first because I never got a response from him.

I sent a second one. No reply.

I wrote him again. No reply. After the third letter I gave up. I figured I would just wait for him to come home.

I was not able to see him graduate boot camp because school had started. I finally saw him at church after three months without contact. He wore his uniform, a green shirt with hunter green pants, black dress shoes, and I was happy to see him, but angry about not hearing from him for three months.

I talked to him about it, and he said he had gotten his letters. He apologized for not writing but said he had been way too busy to reply. I was hurt by this. I knew that he could have written before he went to sleep at night. He didn’t make the effort.

This was when I realized something. I loved him, but I had to let him go.

Mathew only had two weeks at home before he went for more training in California with a unit. I knew I couldn’t do a long distance relationship in high school.

The minute Mat got placed into his new job at Camp Pendleton, CA; he got the word he was going to Iraq. I was upset by this. I did not want him to fight, and I certainly did not want to be separated by distance anymore. I knew what I had to do. The thought had been crossing my mind for weeks, and I had to do it now.

I was never good at saying things face to face. I hopped on my computer and began to type out a letter to send to him, telling him that he was a great person, but it wasn’t going to work. I was going to give it to him to read the next time I saw him. I wished I could have done that; the pain would have been easier to take. But since he was in California and getting ready to leave for Iraq, I did the next best thing, MySpace.

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