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Submitted on
November 11, 2010
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Dear Wartime Widow;

You don't know me. Well, you do; I was your neighbour, we lived beside each other for two years and I watched your huskies while you were on duty in Afghanistan. I spoke with your husband daily and gave treats through the fence and cried a little when I woke up one morning and saw your eldest dog had passed away, the others huddled close to it as if to keep him warm. Your husband, he had the same name as my daughter and we chuckled whenever this not-so-strange occurrence came up in conversation and his hair was red like fire.

I used to watch him, a Goliath of a man, digging the garden in your backyard, rebuilding the fence line, laying down boards just underneath the surface of the earth to keep the dogs from digging in to our yard. I helped at midnight when somebody thought it was funny to launch fireworks in to your backyard at the dogs, I'd give you clippings of my climbing vines so you could plant them on your side of the fence and we could have a matching screen of leaves. Through eight seasons and one pregnancy for me, we lived side by side and rarely spoke; your husband was much more outgoing than you; kinder. That's not to say you weren't, but you must have seen things in your service that you can not un-see, it hardened you, made you silent.

The day we received the news was a hard day, a long day. Your dog had died yet nobody was there to deal with the corpse. The stench, the other dogs, the winter and the cold. Once you returned home and realized your pet was gone to another world, dimension, you probably felt as if it was the end of your world to lose a loved one. Thirty minutes later your phone rang and you were likely relaxing with tea or coffee, a good book or the television. Your husband, your lifeline, your eternity was shattered in an instant with that one ring, pickup, and hello. A landmine or a suicide bombing or a car bomb had taken his life and now you were left down two things you loved, and you hold your daughter close as you hang up slowly and try to figure out how to explain to her that her father is never coming home again.

You tried to sell your house, I tried to bake you cookies. I tried to be a good neighbour and talk to you,  comfort you…but I couldn't do it. So two years later, I will write this letter to you. I will tell you everything I wanted to say that day, everything I wanted to be able to convey; I will tell you I am sorry. The cookies that I intended to bake for you (or was it a cake, and does it matter now?) mean absolutely nothing in the broad scheme of things, I know, and my words mean next to nothing as well, but here they are. I watched the funeral procession, the whole town showed up to honour your husband, I continued to feed treats to your remaining dogs, and I watched you through your window from my backyard as you went through the process of mourning. I want to tell you that your loss effected me, outside your home, outside of your life, and that I will always remember your husband just as you will, only in a different way.

On this day, at the eleventh hour, of the eleventh month I will write to you to tell you that I remember. I remember every day I ever saw him, I remember when you asked for a discharge from service yourself, I remember your dogs. I will always remember because my daughter has the same name as your gentle giant and every time I look at her, I will know that somewhere out there, a man was brave enough to fight for something he may not have understood but in doing so, and in dying for it, there is not a day that goes by that he won't be remembered for what he did.

Your Neighbour.
My computer recovered the letter. This one is what I wanted to upload.

This is for %Letters-To-Myself's prompt: Letter to a Soldier.

War sucks.

This is also for #Live-Love-Write's prompt "Remembrance Day".

Other words and letters: For your reading pleasure.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2013-11-11
A true story for Armistice Day: Dear Wartime Widow is by ^pullingcandy. ( Suggested by doughboycafe and Featured by neurotype )
I cannot even begin to describe how this affected me when I decided to read this wonderful, but sad tale of a story. It made my eyes slip a couple of tears out, made me feel sadness through-out my body as I read this beautiful, yet amazing piece of a narrative. The only things I can say about it is that it may need details of what had happened to the person's next door neighbor, and maybe to make it a little bit longer. Other than those two little things, this can make a big impact on anyone like it did to me.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
9 out of 9 deviants thought this was fair.

First I don't know how I never read this before, but either way it's quite amazing. I definitely cried a bit. (by a little I may mean I left in the middle of a tissue).

I like the short simpleness of a lot of it but I do have a few questions;
1.) Assuming they were both in the military? Maybe I'm just being slow, but in the beginning it seemed like she was in the military then suddenly it was him?
2.) You mention the dogs a lot; were they a vital part of what you're conveying? I have nothing against dogs but I wonder if there's more.
Which leads to > you said in the first paragraph that the eldest dog died, is this the same dog in the third?
These are mostly just questions that I'm wondering as the reader.

Other than those few things I love the way you wrote this, it seems like in a "chaotic" state of mind, I don't mean that negatively, but like it started planned and then simply spilled after the first few words, which is actually great in letters I think.

That being said; again it is seriously amazing and I couldn't help but feel it too. Great work my dear


*** please do not pay attention to the stars, the critique is in what I wrote.***

What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
1 out of 1 deviants thought this was fair.

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KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
APRILFLOAT Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2013
No words can express how one feels at a loss of a loved one whether that be thru war or otherwise. Yes! the unexpected loss sometimes has a more profound affect. As we remember the soldiers, sailors and airmen that gave their lives and to those that continue to serve our country and others we should always be reminded that they do so for us all. To be Free and enjoy what we have. A loss of a loved pet as a family member too can be hard. You have managed to wrap all the emotions that come with the loss of loved ones in one finely written letter to your neighbour whom ever that may be. It was very heart warming. As a veteran, and one who has lost a wife and pet over the last year, thanks for this. 
WorldWar-Tori Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2013   General Artist
Oh; I failed to add congratulations on the DD, you definitely deserve it :love:
Lou-in-Canada Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2013   Traditional Artist
How beautifully written! I enjoyed reading that. Congrats on the well deserved DD
harmlessangel22 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2013  Student General Artist
Wow...just...just wow. This is beautiful...even if it is sad.
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Congratulations on your well-deserved DD!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::iconlainloveplz::iconflyingheartsplz: :clap::clap::clap:
pullingcandy Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you very kindly.
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're very welcome, dear!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::iconsweethugplz::iconflyingheartsplz:
The-Fire-Magician Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2013  Student General Artist

I truly enjoyed reading this letter.  I am happy that you decided to write this letter.  Congratulations on getting DD and have a nice day.

Added to favorites.

pullingcandy Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you so much for taking the time to read it. :)
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