• Destiny Kohlman

"Dear Dan"

Updated: Jun 1, 2020

In letters to him, I try and stay positive and encouraging, leave all the llama drama at home so it makes his 13 weeks a little easier if at all possible. These little blogs I will write between now and graduation are full of raw in the moment emotion. It is easier for me to acknowledge and validate what I am feeling in the moment by writing it down and just being in my feelings.


Week Thirteen

Our LAST week. Somehow among all the stress, excitement and nerves I never got around to posting my last week as a single mom, my last week missin you, my last week looking back at the last 3 months. All in a week, we planned a trip home; to surprise Kamille, your mom and have a day and night alone together. 05.08.2020 you flew into PDX and I saw you for the first time in three months. If I could I would go back and relive those nerves and excitement driving in a loop around the airport, I would in a heartbeat. Such a whirlwhin of your time spent just you and I and what I will eventually write about. A move across the country.

Until then, I've been simply enjoying this time. Together again, as a family.


Week Twelve.

Three M O N T H S.

I can't believe its been three whole months without seeing your cute face and feeling any sort of touch from you. It seems like its been years. In just one week we get to start all over. Start a new version of ourselves with one another in a different place (although that part is still a little unknown). I feel like you would be proud if you actually knew how my brain was working these days. Oh, how things have changed since the beginning of these 13 weeks. Constantly planning and looking forward to the next thing, asking questions. Now, I'm like eh, that most likely wont happen so we'll plan for it once it gets here. So much more chill. I am smiling to myself only because I am saying that now with just a week away from reuniting. Holy shit though, I've learned so much about myself with this time apart. I found an old me, a me I didn't like, a me that's stronger, a me that's weaker but all in all I think deep down this is so good for us. I will say this over and over, I have never loved you more than this moment right now. I love you and in 5 more days, you'll officially be an Officer in the United States Navy.

I've never loved you more.


Week Eleven.

I feel really alone a lot of times and there is a void that no one can fill. This is speaking straight from a dark place, on a sad slow day. Kami, friends, family maybe not even you can fill this weird void I'm feeling. It's like I'm almost getting used to be alone it scares me. I signed up for this, ya we did but not this dramatic in the beginning. Every plan, every vision I get of light at the end of the tunnel gets ripped away so fast.

In a better time a different day, I definitely have been trying to be your rock this week. Making every shitty situation into a seemingly bright one. Just two more weeks and we can deal with some of the uncertainties we discussed this week in person rather than 2,000 miles apart.

Anywhere with you, is home.


Week Ten.

I bought a plane ticket! You heard that. Some exciting news right? Well, dates of course subject to change and I bought insurance for my ticket but at least seeing one another is in the distant future (ish). I have become so much more accustom this week of uncertainty... this week. Don't hold me to that next week if for some reason it's another solid month of let downs. It is seriously a breath of fresh air getting to finally chat throughout the day. I feel more alive getting good morning and good night texts, new music sent to me and of course the standard nasty jokes that make me grin. The plan is to fly to Florida, reunite, find a house and make the move baby! I just wish it was coming a bit faster. Three more weeks until graduation is televised (but who's counting?).

Guestimating less than 30 days until we can sit on the beach together, watch the waves and talk about how crazy this chapter in our life has been.


Week Nine.

I'm feeling more bitchy than usual in this current moment. I don't have an end in site. This whole process, the virus, the quarantine, where you'll be and end up; I'm pretty over it at this point. Although, I am so relieved to say at this time; it's all down hill from here for you regarding your testing and that's truly so amazing. I thought we'd have such different feelings, emotions and outlooks at this time coming so close to graduation. To think I would be flying to Rhode Island in three weeks and seeing you in one of your most accomplished and happy moments of your life/our life has me shook. You deserve the world, to be celebrated and congratulated. I'm sorry for that. I tell everyone this; you are one genuine and kind soul, who never seeks praise or approval. You are humble and reserved and feel there is no need for recognition but I will also say, this time should have been different.

My fantasy has become an uber ride to base where I try and look through the gates in hope to just see you in person for a sec. That's cute hu.


Week Eight.

Two whole M O N T H S.

I feel like you're missing out on a lot but I don't want to ever tell you that. Life is so much different when you're not around but it's almost becoming our normal. The good thing is that YOU only have 4 more weeks! You have made it passed the hardest week academically with only a few mishaps. One more month and we were "supposed" to be reunited and off to our next station TOGETHER. With everything that is going on, that doesn't look to promising does it? I know that this too shall pass and we will be all together once again but at this point it's hard hearing the news. I want nothing more than to stop fantasizing about all these different scenarios or locations we are going to be reunited. ONE more month for you though. ONE more month until you are fully done with this chapter. I couldn't be more proud.

You, in four short weeks will officially be a Navy Officer. I like the sound of that Kohlman.


Week Seven.

Consuming my thoughts with how happy I am for you, how proud I am of you and how this is SO only temporary. This down time is forever changing me. Feeling more alone than ever before has given me time to sit in thought, meditate, come to realize what's important in this world. My patience are thin but they are still present. I have patience to make it to the weekend to speak with you, patience to wonder about graduation and if I get to see you and congratulate you. I am the most proud and IN LOVE with you than I have ever been in the 11 years we've been together. I can't put into words what missing someone feels like in this time of scarce, anxiety driven quarantine down time. My favorite things are hearing about what your week has been like. You, being reserved as normal but really you've killed it on everything physical and mental thus far. Your test scores seriously amaze me. You're slowly changing from what I can tell on our short phone calls but I don't mean this in a bad way. You have so much attention to detail and you are more dedicated and organized than my furthest expectations.

Quarantine and being locked down couldn't have came at any worse of a time. I am learning how to be really ALONE. Full SOLITUDE.


Week Six.

Word from you is that you have made it through the hardest week academically. I can't wait to chat and hear about it this weekend. You're getting wind of what's happening out in the real world. What you are missing out on is far from normal right now. The world is quite literally going insane. I should start a quarantine blog. Why? Because, yep we are on full blown lockdown. Gym is closed, I am no longer working and Kami doesn't have preschool. Let's just leave this whole topic short and sweet because honestly it's exhausting how much attention it's getting. I am a little more negative than usual because lets face it, nothing has gone in my favor since you've been gone. I am especially pissed off that your graduation and us being reunited is not in the distant future because of this as well. This whole staying at home thing would be a lot less lonely if you were here with me. Going to bed alone and waking up even more alone is getting pretty old.

Let's just hurry up and get through this so I can look back at it like a distant memory and know that I can nearly get through ANYTHING.


Week Five.

This week I feel like I've started all over. The ups and downs. There's so much I'm dealing with physically and mentally that I haven't even had to deal with my entire life, let alone since you've been gone. Like I've said before, everything needs to stay positive, you can't know anything stressful going on back home, even though it kills me to fake it on our short phone calls when you ask me in depth detail. When you get home, and you find these things out, you might just piss your pants lol only kidding but wow. Life is just throwin me some major fu@&!^g curve balls.

On a positive note, I love hearing about what tests are coming up, uniforms being fitted and just the day to day on our short weekend phone calls. My favorite was reading your text about watching the sunset for the first time. Even though I am not there by your side, you had time to really think and visualize life for the first time. It will certainly be a bright one, we just have to get through the time apart. I got it though, I'll hold down the fort here.

FYI. Nothing is holding me back coming to Rhode Island... Corona virus or not.


Week Four.

One whole M O N T H.

Saturday Feb 29th at 8 AM, I received my first phone call... and missed it. Your entire family missed your first 4-5 calls and that makes me so sad. BUT, thankfully your brother answered and ran the phone over to me. We got 2 minutes of the 10 you had that morning but it was the best 2 minutes I've had in 4 weeks. Your life right now is full of structure, orders, schedule, stern conversation and lots of yelling. Talking to you that first time made it known. Sunday, you got another call and we got a full blown 15 minutes with email/texting throughout the day. Small talk has never been so fulfilling. Kami looked at the photos you sent that day and recognized you. She said "Daddy, isn't sad anymore, he's working". That hit well because she thought you have been sad this entire time because that's how you left. This week, we got out of town and went on a little vacation to get our mind off of the everyday. I can't sit here and say that I thought about you less but because I probably thought about you more; as I took photos to document everything we did so you could see later. I got a quick text from you on our last night. which threw me a curve. Made me miss you, want you here and guilty for doing things without you although I know you wouldn't want it any other way. This rollercoaster of emotion is a wild one. We have made it a full month without one another. Currently I am LIVING for the weekends, when we get that 10 minute phone call and you spend your down time/study time writing me. P.S. I promise to write you today and print more photos to send.

Days are long but the weeks are fast.


Week Three.

I received my first letter this evening 02.23.20. I needed it. It was the perfect timing. It's like someone, something, YOU knew I'd need it when I got off work today to a restless no/nap toddler, a meal needing to be cooked and a fire needing to be lit. I honestly cant even describe the feeling of knowing what I was about to open. What have you been feeling for two weeks and whos hands have been on this piece of paper.

We've MADE it three whole weeks. That means we only have ten more to go. I can't lie when I say this week has been tough not only because you're gone but because I am being faced with so many obstacles I have never been faced with even when you're around. Scary and unforeseen things that would have been much easier to handle if you were here by my side or at least a call away. That's the hardest thing ya know, a call that goes straight to voicemail and a text sent that doesn't say delivered or read. I had a realization this week that made me think to myself; we're really doing this, we are two pillars separate but together holding up our building which is our life. In every aspect, we have to work together separately but together we are the foundation, if one of us fails, then it all falls. ILY

Anyways, to be honest. I am so thankful for the friend and family group I have right now. I really couldn't handle things at home if it weren't for the endless texts and calls, casual hangs and of course the real MVP's that stack my wood and build my fires.

His words,

"Love getting the last couple letters from you! Makes the end of my days great, heading to the mail room thinking nothing but happiness".


Week Two.

Weekends are full of customers asking about you; where you're at, how you're doing and once hearing we have no contact... how I'm doing. The week is full of family and friends also checking in but spending more time with me to ensure I'm not lying when I say I'm doing okay. I appreciate the concerns but also it makes me evaluate how I am actually doing. Here I am this week, feeling guilty about having a sense of what it's going to be like, more faith in myself and keeping myself more together than I thought I could. I am feeling guilty because it's crossed my mind that I am doing better than you (emotionally) this week. I have learned that keeping myself overly booked, busier than ever has helped me not think; think about what time you're normally off, what plans we would have on our day off together and how we will spend the evening. Kamille has asked more and more this week when you're going to be finished with "work". She has also tested me like non other this week. I am grateful more than ever for a present, hard working and loving father in my childs' life. ELEVEN more weeks.

Every day, running home to check the mailbox.


Week One.

We made a paper chain to count down the days until your graduation.

This week I wrote you three letters. The one I wrote you Monday should have gotten to you today; Valentine's Day <3

It's quiet in the mornings around here. The mornings that I normally have with you before I work are the hardest. Those were the mornings where I unconsciously relied on you more than normal. You gave me those 5-10 extra minutes to get ready for work, those 5-10 minutes to drink coffee and wake up and those 5-10 minutes to just breathe and be present. Those minutes now are spent alone or not spent at all. I don't mind much, ya know "mom life". But... it was nice. Of course I wanted to mention also the quirky things that I used to be annoyed of that I now actually miss the most. You're stupid jokes; those I really miss to be honest. The "checking on me" when I shower; that too I miss surprisingly. Mostly, I really miss those coconut sugar, whole wheat waffles every Saturday morning. The fact that I can't call you while you're still in town to "grab a few things" from the grocery store really stinks and that's why most nights I end up eating salads. I appreciate more than ever this week; all the little things you did that I HAD NO IDEA made my life so much easier.

Moments of extreme weakness (in the moment):

This is the most terrible feeling and the hardest fucking day. You know I love myself a spotless, clean and fresh house, but I look around right now and all I want to do is cry cause it feels good. Is that wrong? Like I just want to wear your sweatshirt and bawl my eyes our for a quick second, as I look at the paw prints that need to be moped up. What's the point of cleaning when I don't have you coming home after work to a clean house to look forward to.

I don't know why I thought I could do this.

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