Perhaps out of habit, I never delete a voice mail from my husband.
When Dave was deployed to Iraq the year before last, our communiciations were pretty sketchy at best. We were fortunate to get a static-filled overseas phone call from him about once a week. I knew that in order for him to call me, he had likely hiked nearly a mile in the 100-plus desert heat and stood in line an MWR tent (that's the department of Morale/Welfare/Recreation; the Army does love its acronyms!) for the chance to spend 15 timed minutes at a working — or, sometimes working — telephone.
I hated missing his calls, but it frequently happened. He'd leave a tired but cheery message on my work or cell phone, attempting to sound like he was just calling from the corner market.
The hard, cold truth was, I was so afraid that in case the unthinkable happened, this fuzzy bit of digital connection might be the last piece of interchange between us. With a silent prayer, I would hit the "save" button to preserve my own little audio greeting card. I've always loved David's vocal quality, with his deep laugh; I think it's one of his very best features. I would save the messages so I could listen to them again and again, privately, just to hear the sound of his voice.
A year and a half later after he's safely home, I still do that.