Monday, November 30, 2009

a rose by any other _____

the name of the star- is jupiter.

in gratitude

okay so no thank you for calling me and not telling me that an IED hit a vehicle in your platoon. But thank you thank you heavenly father that nobody was killed, only rendered unconscious.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Adventure time- afghanistan time

Dear Brandon,
I wonder every day how you chose me of all the people in this earth.
Pee ess
Thank you for calling me this morning, even though it kept hanging up it was still important to me that you made the effort to tell me in between cracking and silence how much I mean to you. This marriage is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me and probably ever will happen (crossing fingers for baby life happening when you get home). This thanksgiving it went without saying that I am grateful for you- but I think it's more important to say that outloud to you and show you with whatever I can by sending boatloads of mail and today I built the best care package EVER.
There is so much you are missing, and I am just missing you. There's an old house down the road that looks like its abandoned and from england. And further down the road there is a daycare called ADVENTURE TIME.
Will you come with me there when you get home?

p p s
thank you for calling me again today. that makes TWO times.

Love again,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I miss you so much.
I'm making my first cobbler
I'm so glad we got married forever.
and past then too.

I know what we'll be doing in the next life
adventure after adventure.
after thanksgiving this year i'll make a really good weight.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

to my loved ones.

wish you could be here for t day
we are having a tofurky thanksgiving.
itshould be interesting to say the least.
last night i couldnt sleep
i was scared and being a big baby
and then this morning i woke up and my keys were in the front door.

im awesome
and senile.

Monday, November 23, 2009

under this sky

Megan told me about this motomail thing so I thought I'd give it a go- save on stamps and send packages instead. Although, I'm not quite sure what to send in a package yet. Don't worry, I'll get clever before you get home.
Will you marry me?

There is a certain star that hangs below the moon here. I know by now after years of visiting my grandfather in orem and him telling me over and over the name of the planet that shines so brightly in the sky just now that I should remember it's title. At this very moment that doesn't mean much.

Throughout history people have used the night sky for sentiment. Found solace in the stars. That small star, trying so hard to be bigger- mimicking the moon.
It's not the name of the planet, or the star or the sky in which it rests
tonight it is you.
You're not a planet. or a star or the moon

You're the mystery that surrounds the sky
the deepest hope of more.

During the day the sky plays a lighter role
literally and figuritively.
It hovers silently, blue and happy, uninterfering
lovely and cool.

It's that knight

that brings the dark, brooding corners of the human soul and paints it onto a still canvas.

It is so beautiful.

I wonder at that bright spot
how it hangs there,
happily in the middle of the darkness.

I see you. Do you see me too?

Friday, November 20, 2009

new moon

I wish I could just go to sleep and not spend more time being awake and thinking about you brandon.

Love, Jacqueline

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

i've got it bad, and that ain't good

It feels incredible to be able to breath out of my knows again.
Almost as good as the thoughts I have of you right when I wake up and before I sleep at night.
Sometimes I catch myself waiting for your step in the hallway, for you to jump on the bed and tickle me until I can't think in one direction.
I have to do what you told me to,
I put you in a box.
But don't worry because I put air holes in the top.
I have to remind myself not to take you down and look at you all the time.
But it's hard to do since I bent the rules by putting pictures of us all over our house.
Can I call it our house?
Even if you aren't here.
It is hard to think of home without you.
So I am sort of homeless.
In this 900 sq foot yellow cottage with the green door
this week everything went wrong.
I'm just about fit to be tied, and then I get on my knees and God reminds me of all the good there is.
But for right now, when you are away fighting your battle,
I am at home fighting mine.
The orem police department woke me up yesterday at one in the morning to tell me my garage door kept opening and closing
so it looks like not just the squash room is haunted.
I've been so sick I don't know when I will get a chance to repair it.
Going outside means exposing myself to that cold cold mountain air.
Although I am certain after I've had EVERY seasonal sickness that ever existed
I will be invincible.
Like you.
The internet stopped working unless I sit in THIS exact spot, and never move.
I've gone through almost five boxes of lotioned tissue
until my nose began to bleed terribly last night.
Since then I have reason to believe that the cold has moved on
to my lungs.
Hot water and salt and hot water and tea and soop and I'm trying to eat salad but it sounds so. green to me.
I missed my first work meeting last night, I sounded like a 80 year old woman (or man) who has been smoking all his or her life.

The brand new washer and dryer came yesterday
and after the first load the dryer stopped working.

I don't know what to do.

The oven has a gas leak,
the disposal doesn't work.
There is a four inch gap of cold air coming in under the back door.

Brandon, how do I do it without you?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

searching inward, reaching outward

My dear at this time when endings are uncertain and the unknown taints our hope with question, my thoughts inescapably turn toward flowers; not only because I see so much of them in you, or because some of them can be eaten, but because the Lord has commanded me to pattern my life after them. I love flowers. Their versatility in emotional expression is appropriate everywhere; but, if we value the flowers outward beauty alone we’ll miss the entire purpose of the flower itself. A flower does more than console and congratulate, it teaches one how to live, making me wonder - as I watch the florist cut fresh roses, wrap them and tie them with ribbon, who is arranging who? And what lives, homes and heart will they yet arrange.

At one time or another all lives need arranging. Especially now do I need to remember the lesson of the flowers, to: search inward, reach outward, look heavenward, and to bloom repeatedly.

When I take time at night to examine heart, my desires and my concerns I find it filled with you. It is filled with gratitude for the blessing of being married to such a beautiful person, both physically and in heart. Someone who makes me laugh constantly and aware of what is beautiful in the world. I remember my last time sitting in the Ghana Accra temple celestial room just before I returned home from my mission. I was tired. My hair bleached blond from two years in the African sun. I was the only one in the room. I closed my eyes and began a silent prayer. I prayed that the lord would help me live my life in such a way that I could find you, my wife. Just before I closed my prayer I saw a glimpse, a second of what the future would bring if I lived my life right. I was sitting at a stop light in my car on 1600N 400E in Orem driving west. Next to me was the prettiest girl with wavy brown hair, the most beautiful eyes and captivating smile. We weren’t talking, just quiet and happily holding each other’s hand. It was night time and we were on our way back from my parent’s house to our home in south Orem. I know that girl was you. I think you have been in my heart from the time I was a young boy. I’ll never forget the first time I saw you. I think my heart stopped. I felt this great energy that I had to talk to you. I had to get to know you, even though it was inconsistent with my nature to approach women I didn’t know. I said probably the shortest prayer of my life when I saw you walking toward me, simply I said, as if the prayer connection was already made and God knew I was talking to him, “Help”. You know what happened but the help came. Three years later. Sometime life is like that. I loved how you popped in and out of my life during that time. In between relationships I would creep your facebook awed that god would put someone as beautiful as you on the earth knowing full well that you’d make everyone else look bad. Ironically as much as I curse this war, it is what brought us together. For some reason the war gave me the courage to risk what I had always protected too cautiously-my heart. I decided that I could never live knowing that I hadn’t put everything on the line to be with you, even if it meant getting hurt. I’m so glad I searched my heart and found courage there. Every hour spent on that long dark highway was worth it. If these three short months of being married to you is all I get it was worth it. I thank God every night for you.

A good friend of mine once told me, “ If you ever break down, stop and build a service station”. I have always be amazed at the paradox that the only true way to build one’s self is buy building up others. I wish I could say I was good at this, that I wasn’t selfish, or had a tendency to look for my own benefit first, to make sure my feelings were being regarded and taken care of and not the other person. This is one on my goals over the next seven months: To learn to love others more than myself. I want this because I want to be able to love you better, to care for you better, to treat you as what you are- my wife, my love, my Queen. I have found such great joy I simple acts of service. They help me forget my self, expand my heart, and give me joy where joy is seldom found. Sacrificing a few prized M&Ms rarely found in an MRE to an on-looking Marine nourishes me so much more than if I just ate them. Just as flowers must spread their roots to survive so must we spread our roots into the lives of others. You are a great example of this to me. A person heard sneezing a mile away will hear a faint “bless you”.

Flowers teach us to constantly look to the true Son for light and nourishment. I want share my testimony of him to you. I know he lives, that he walked on this earth performing miracles of healing the sick and lame. But, to me the greatest miracle was the healing of sin. I know the Atonement is real and working. I thank the Lord for his saving grace that takes us farther than we are able to take ourselves. He died so we might live. He broke the bands of death. One of my favorite poems is my John Donne called Holy Sonnet X

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou thinkst thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow
And soonest our best men with thee do go
Rest of their bones and soul's delivery.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppies or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke. Why swellst thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die!

I love that. There is nothing to fear in death. It is but a doorway. It is part of the plan. It is the only way we can return to be with God again. A prophet has said that God never takes a righteous man before his time. I am so grateful for the restored gospel. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to teach it on the African continent and that I can be an example of its teaching here in the Marine Corps. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I cannot read its words without feeling its power. It has changed my life. My consistency in reading it has always correlated to my consistency in making righteous choices. I have a testimony of the sealing power of the temple. I know that we are the beginning of an eternal family. I love the thought of eternity with you. I know there will be attending angels watching over us during this time. God does hear our prayers. He will come to us in our time or need.

I think sometimes in life we hit a rut and become comfortable. We stop growing and progressing. It is essential for me while in Afghanistan to never become complacent, to never let my physical or my spiritual guard down. I must watch for spiritual enemies just as intently as I will watch for the Taliban. But I wonder which is more dangerous? I fear sin more than the Taliban.

I want you to know you are the love of my life, that these last three months have been the happiest of my entire life. I love you so much. It is eleven hours difference from Utah to Afghanistan so when it is 7PM in Utah it is 6AM in Afghanistan. I will always think of you at that time. I can’t wait to be the father of your children, to raise a family with you, to grow old with you. We have so much ahead of us. The best lies ahead. Let’s go forward in great faith searching inward, reaching outward, looking heavenward, and blooming repeatedly over the next few months. I pray all God’s choicest blessings will attend you while I am away. That heaven will hear your prayers and comfort you heart.


Your missing peace

more love letters

Hi sweet heart.

Yesterday I didn't get a chance to say all the things i love about you! These things are many.

I'll start with your head. Your reckless hair (whose roots may have branched into your brain), which I love. Your mind. I want to hook your head up to speakers and a projector (if you don't mind) because the glimpses I caught of the concoctions happening in there are the finest things I have ever seen or heard. Eyes, ears, mouth, and nose, and all other condiments to your face reminds me that no matter how well artists try to imitate the beautiful in life its just not like the real thing. You are beautiful in a rare way. Like the world's night lights, or a young unicorn. And the rest of your corps: venus de milo, but with arms and a way better face. I love your laugh and your smile (of which you have many. my favorite is the one when I know you love me, and the mischievous one, and the one before we eat). I have never been bored when I am with you. You always make me laugh. And no matter what crazy thing I need you to do for me (like wake up at 4am and take me to work) you always love me, and want to see me even if it is inconvenient. You make me the most delicious food, and recommend the best books. You are so good with kids. i think all the babies in the world would want you to be their mother.I love that you married me. I love your unwavering loyalty to me, and those you love. You always put love first in your life. I love your close relationship with God. I even love the way you drive, and your road rage. I love how you are always humming, and always have a glass of water by your bed and sometimes forget to flush the john. I love that you let me be me. i love That you accept all my primitive manly ways, and love me for who i am, and help me see who i can become. I love you for loving me and being a part of me and that I am not me without you and If i think of me i think of you and I am no more i but us, and we. And i want to be with you forever just how you are and I can't even imagine all the laughter that lies ahead of us.

i love you because i do.

because you are you.




from brandon with love

Do you remember that time on our second date after we just unsuccessfully finished capturing cows when we were standing on the road just as the sun was going down watching those horses run back and forth in that field?
Or that time we captured a bunny?
Or the time i woke you up with a daisy in your hand?
Or when i wrote you a poem about how you smell?
Or the time when we decided to get married?
Or the time when time stopped because we were married for forever?
Or the time I went away, and left you all alone but then I came back and we went back to school and we're like best friends still chasing cows on the weekends, and misspelling words with flowers, and how we'd laugh till we felt sick and still decide to go out for Thai.
I'll love you forever Jacqueline Cochran

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


please please please come home to me.
i have so much life left that i need with you.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


hellow swweeet heart that is sweet to my heart.

i just want you to know
how much fun it is
to grow
thinking about you there
and wondering what forests and
worlds our thoughts
worlds apart
can create.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

flu day two

two travelers, where they go it never matters sitting still or under covers bringing song to little crawlers people always say i do or yes improve what's left to loose and still there's two that love to croon the good in life, defy the moon.

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