Navy SEAL Chris Kyle was America's deadliest sniper. His widow, Taya, writes a letter of advice to her younger self, in this installment of the Emmy-nominated "Note to Self" series on "CBS This Morning."
There's so much I could tell you that you're going to experience -- joy beyond your wildest dreams, and a grief so terrible you'll be sure it will break you.
I wish I could keep you from the pain, but life isn't like that.
When you're in your early twenties, you will meet a man who will change your life. His name is Chris Kyle. He'll be strong, physically and emotionally, with the gentlest voice. He'll have a tremendous smile, and a sense of humor that will match yours. The two of you will fall madly in love, and decide to spend the rest of your lives together.
Chris is a United States Navy SEAL. He believes in God, Country, and Family, just like you do. He'll serve four tours in Iraq. Even so, he'll find a way to be by your side when you give birth to two perfect children, a boy and a girl.
You'll be so proud of him as a father and a war hero. But every time he leaves for deployment, it will be a challenge. Every time you'll say goodbye to him you'll fear the worst.
Then, finally, he'll come home. Things will seem... perfect. Until one day, one horrible, terrible, very long day, the very worst will happen when you least expect it.
It's not going to be easy. In the end you'll reach deep inside yourself to find the strength to carry through.
Try and remember these things as you go on your journey:
You like to be independent but you will need to learn to ask for help. It doesn't make you weak.
At some of the most important times in your life, you will fight against fate. You won't be able to accept that you are on a path that will eventually lead you to happiness.
Like a lot of women, you know how important your friends are. Go to them. Hold their hands. In your darkest moments of despair, a friend's hand on yours will get you through the worst.
Last, but not least, enjoy every moment you can. When the dark days come, many wonderful moments, those will all seem dead and empty to you. It will take practice and even hard work to find the joy sometimes.
Sometimes you will think you can't take it another day. But if you hang in there, one step at a time, you will be able to accomplish more than you ever imagine.
Good luck, Taya. May God bless you, always.