I mentioned in my last post a little anniversary book I made Adam before he deployed and that got me thinking. In several of the milso groups that I’m in, people are always asking what they can make/do/send their boyfriends/husbands/fiances/partners/ect. before they deploy. I thought I would make a little list of some of the things that I did for him before he left.
1. Calendar with important dates in them
I made Adam a little planner with all the upcoming important dates and important anniversaries. I wrote down all the dates we went on, when our first date was, when our anniversary was, my graduation, my birthday, my family’s birthdays, and so much more so he would feel included in everything. I also wrote little notes of encouragement on sticky notes and put them on random pages for him to find.
2. “Open When” Letters
So many people in the groups I’m in have done this. I thought it was such a cute idea and such a fun way for him to have a piece of me and how much I love him when we can’t physically talk to each other. I originally sent enough for him to open one a month but for his Christmas care package, I sent a few more so he had more to open. The topics were pretty easy to think of once I got going. Unfortunately, when I was writing them, I had been in a car accident a week or so prior and I was essentially high on painkillers when I was writing them. It’s always a laugh for us when he sends me a picture of the letter and I can see how ridiculous I was when I was writing them. In one, I drew a picture of a monorail for some reason and I’m not exactly sure why I did that.
3. Pictures and a picture frame
I went to Wal-Mart and printed some wallet-size images. I put one in a small frame for his bedside table or desk and the rest were just loose. He hung them up on his wall with tape. Some of the images were of me, some of us and some were just of places we had been. Florida, the beach, the lake, NC State’s campus, Holly Springs– just anywhere we had been and had fun.
4. A handwritten letter
When he went to a training in Florida, I sent him with some plane snacks and a little letter talking about how much I’ll miss him and how I can’t wait for him to come back. When he went to visit his family in California, I did the same thing. So, naturally, when he deployed I had to send another letter with him to read on the plane. It was like our last little private moment and it seriously made me feel so much better that he was taking a piece of me with him on the plance ride.
Honestly, all of these are super inexpensive, easy to carry and full of meaning. People seem to think big, expensive items are what they need to send and that’s honestly not the case at all. Small, meaningful and from the heart is where it’s at.