She Knew I’d Be the One to Keep Us Together

Over the past few months I’ve found myself reading biographies on people that lived well before modern times. One of the things that struck me as particularly interesting was the way writers went about gathering information on their subjects. There were no TV interviews to watch, no documents left behind on the internet, and no living relatives to interview. The best way to learn about the subjects was through the letters they left behind.

Because fame is right around the corner for me and biographies on my life will be in great demand 100 years from now, I thought that leaving behind a trail of letters (digital though they may be) sounded like a great idea. In my opinion, letters are the most illuminating form of communication we have and the idea of experimenting with that was too intriguing to pass over. My younger sister, Lauren, will be participating in an ongoing letter share with me. Where it goes and what we learn about one another I have no idea. Follow along and find out with us.


Dear Douglas,

It always amazes me how much mom taught us in such a short amount of time. She knew I’d be the one to keep us together….I thank modern technology for that. If I had to write you guys letters or actually pick up a phone to call you, I don’t know if we would stay in touch like we have. But I swear she knew she was going to leave us early. I wonder if I’m making the same impact on my kids. Mom always did the right thing, she stood up for people who couldn’t always stand up for themselves, she fought for us, she loved us deeply, and she stood strong in her convictions. I hope I’m teaching my kids to be kind, to fight for what they believe in, and to love people even when it’s confusing and hard.

I think learning to love yourself and changing what you don’t like is all a part of life. In my 20s, working on myself wasn’t a part of who I was. I thought I was a nice enough person and that was all I needed to be. As for things I’m working on myself….I can’t let something go for the life of me. I may not speak up about what’s bothering me or even let you know you hurt my feelings, but you better believe I’m sitting and stewing on what was said or done. I’ll wait until I’m alone with Jonathan and the person is out of earshot and then I let loose. I wish I could just let things go in one ear and out the other. I also need to be more patient in every aspect of life. When I get an idea in mind, I want it to immediately come to fruition. I’m organized and I think everyone else should be. Waiting for something to be done drives me insane.

When did you know Deana was the one? Do you ever wish you had met before you did? One of my favorite things about Jonathan and I is that we’ve known each other forever. I remember Pappy Polo saying “You should fall in love with a friend. When you’re friends with someone first, you’re less likely to hurt them.” I’m glad Jonathan and I had a good friendship before dating. I remember falling in love with him. It happened so fast. He had just gotten home from boot camp. I hadn’t seen him in about a year and when we finally did see each other, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. Two months into our relationship, he left to go to Missouri for 5 months and then a week after returning, got deployed to Iraq. If we weren’t such close friends to begin with, I’m not sure I would’ve waited for him. But man, that wait was worth it. The wait brought me a strong marriage and 2 great kids. Funny how things work out, huh?