Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"A good book has no ending."- R.D. Cumming

Yesterday I got 39 Letters from Brandon in the mail. Today I got 4 more.

They are each responses to a letter I wrote him late one night (morning) with a billion questions on it.

He told me he would reply to each and every question

That stinker.

I love him so much.

My favorite answer is to this question:

Do you feel like this deployment has changed you?

"I know it has...I will come home very human, very in love with you, and very in debt to God."

Sunday, March 28, 2010

watch it grow

Love is like a flower,
and, like the body, it needs constant feeding.

The mortal body would soon be emaciated and die if there were not frequent feedings. The tender flower would wither and die without food and water. And so love, also, cannot be expected to last forever unless it is continually fed with portions of love, the manifestation of esteem and admiration, the expressions of gratitude, and the consideration of unselfishness.

-President Spencer W. Kimball

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Chain of information

Thursday, March 25, 2010

semper fi

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

-Frederick Lehman (1917)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

That's no excuse

First off, I want to apologize deeply to anyone who may have (or may not have) heard that I said something to hurt them in any way.

Secondly in my small small small defense, I need you to know a little bit about me.

I am terrified of groups, and people in general.

I want you to like me so badly, that I've even been diagnosed with social anxiety and medicated on and off in my life for it.

When I was in preschool, I would come home crying and tell my mom that I had no friends.

Even if I did have people who liked me or occasionally played with me.

Sometimes, and some days I say things I don't mean, things that are too mean,
things that don't make sense
and things that are probably really hurtful.

I am not a perfect person, and I don't expect others to be.

Again I am very sorry if I ever said or did something that was contradictory to how I really felt or how things really are.

I have a hard time expressing myself, and sometimes when it comes out, it comes out wrong, or distorted by my own insecurities.

Just know please, that I am trying very hard for you to like me, and to know you better, and in that endeavor I say too much about me, or too much about you, or too much about too much. And I'm sorry. I truly am.

Also know that I am trying to be better and more sensitive to the plain fact that most people just want to be loved as they are and not changed into someone I can love more easily.

I do want to know you, I want to make you laugh and smile and feel happy when you are sad and happy just in general.
I like people a lot.

I like you.
I do.

But give me a chance.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

all I ever think about is you coming home.

The Remember story, the picture of brandon with that word written on his hand was as I suspected kind of like a prayer rock.

He wrote Remember so that he would remember the good things in life, his scriptures, the gospel, his wife (wahoo!) his family, and home.

So that even though he might be in a bad place, or having a hard time he can remember what is good.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Novel Ideas

Together, we mean something.

Like a book,
if it was separated
it would just be
and ink.


But combined-

they mean something to others.
Those words.
They last.

The knowledge in them never dies.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

the little blue engine.

All this I think I can-ing is turning into I think I must- ing.

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem." -Ronald Regan

Friday, March 12, 2010

CS lewis on death

"What have you and I got to do but make our exit? When they told me I was in danger several months ago, I don't remember feeling distressed. I am talking, of course, about dying, not about being killed. If shells started falling about this house I should feel quite differently. An external, visible, and (still worse) audible threat at once wakes the instinct of self preservation into fierce activity. I don't think natural death has any similar terrors."

Before Brandon left we discussed often and with great passion the topic of death. Ironic that nowadays that's the last thing I want to think about or speak of. However, since it seems to be a real thing, (although in mourning I must echo Lewis's words when his wife died shortly after they were married "I cannot describe the apparent unreality of my life since then...") I felt like this first quote explained a concept that I never got in conversation with Brandon. He used to say "I'm not afraid of death, I'm just not." And that bothered me. Not only because his job demands he be CAREFUL about death (and because I demand it...) but because to die is a scary thing in my mind.

With a vivid imagination and creativity you can turn any adventure into plain and simple fear. And in the end, that fear is worse than the actual event you feared to begin with.

So I'm told.

And so I've learned in smaller experiences.

After the first week of March and the sadness that occurred therein he called me finally to talk about it.

He cried,
and said " for the first time, I'm really afraid. I'm afraid to die."

I think what he meant was
He's afraid to be killed.

And I'm glad there's a difference.
I do not envy any man the honor of dying for their country.
But I feel, that if Brandon does, then I should.

" I feel like a child, I'll patrol all day and night walking through villages that are known taliban strong holds, walking through thick fields where locals say there are mines. I do this just fine. I have no fear of loosing a leg or my life, but the thought of not returning to you brings me to my knees everytime. I just want to watch you live, to be the first thing you see every morning..."


I'll love you Brandon Cochran
all ways.
Some letters from you come with the word "safe" written on them,
I like that.


It's like when you were a kid, and you played the game Sorry,
getting into the safety corridor was the best feeling.

So now, I write it on all of Brandon's letters back to him, our return address is:


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nic Uyeji

"America isn't at war, People in the military and their families are."

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Freedom isn't free

I'm making this blog post so that I'll never forget today, and so that all the people I know and love who know and love me back who feel like the war isn't worthwhile can maybe change their minds for a moment or two.

For people who think soldiers never cry.

For the families and friends and loved ones who have lost someone to this endless war.

If it's pointless- then let's point it in a direction.

Because people are dying.

I hate saying that it never mattered to me before, but it didn't. It wasn't real, it wasn't here.

It is there.

But that makes what I'm writing even more important, even more essential

in hopes that maybe you can understand

that if we don't believe in the people who are getting sent out there

they'll come back in coffins

and if they don't come back
then the war comes here.

We'll see how many people think that our fight on terrorism is useless when it's knocking on their front door.

or when their 19 year old sons are lying absent in a coffin.

When other brave men who have been sent to hand a flag
the symbol of our country
the symbol of blood and stripes

that lifeless material

that so many give their lives FOR

folded neatly into the family's empty hands.

More than anything

I want you to know how beautiful it all was in spite of the tragedy.

How the boy scouts lined the streets with tears in their eyes saluting every car, the old woman who stood on her stoop clutching a lone flag to her body, holding onto the past when it was good, and virtuous and noble to die for what you loved.

How a flock of birds decided the moment the guns shot in their last salute to LCPL Carlos Aragon to fly into the air in a V.

How it felt to watch your husband's best friend, the man who slept beside yours, be lowered into the ground.

The silence and the sadness, and the piece of your soldier's life going with that one- so that you could ultimately live.

So that we could all live without serving another person's beliefs.

Not important enough still?

Want to voice your opinion?

If you thought it didn't matter now,
It surely won't matter in a country that's not free...

Well, I'm not sure what will change your mind.
I know
I've changed mine.

Freedom isn't free.
It's bought with blood, time, and talents, from men and women who love this country more than they love themselves.

God bless you and keep you wherever you serve

Friday, March 5, 2010

February Sunday, someday

Church: 3 of us in a bunker,
One keeps watch while two
Bless the bread
Only two partake
But the other is there
So one day he can.


Thursday, March 4, 2010



Wednesday, March 3, 2010

There are no wars in heaven.

March 01 2010 Brandon's vehicle driver Lance Corp. Aragon stepped on an IED, a planted bomb and was killed.

Brandon hasn't called yet but I am sure he is very sad, he spoke often of Aragon.

Vous me manquez tellement ça fait mal.

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