She could never deny that Starfleet had its purpose in the grand scheme of things. If nothing else, it allowed her the opportunity to meet Ian and have two beautiful daughters with him.
If she really took the time to consider the whole situation, she could understand Ian's fierce devotion to his duty. Even if it ended up costing him his life and the chance to watch his younger daughter grow into adulthood.
It was his very death -- a result of his overwhelming dedication to that blasted military group -- that caused her so much anger and rage against Starfleet for the longest time, feelings that were not normally felt so strongly by Betazoids. It was also the reason she was terrified when Deanna announced her decision to join Starfleet and follow in her father's star-strewn footsteps.
In the end, she had to make her peace with Starfleet. It brought love into the lives of two generations of Daughters of the Fifth House, and who was she to argue with love?
I hope this finds you well. And yes, I know that I could be sending you a communiqué that would get to you sooner, but I have been feeling the need for something a little different, more old-fashioned. Blame it on Daddy's love of the Ancient West and all the stories he told me of the Pony Express. I do hope you don't mind this. I'm quite sure I'll be back to standard communiqués soon enough.
Oh, Mother, the stars are so beautiful out here. They call to me, and I am drawn to their light without compunction. Everywhere I look, no matter where I am on this ship, I see millions of twinkling little lights. It's… It's indescribable in this primitive format. I wish you were here with me to witness how beautiful it is. When I am home next for a visit, I'll share everything about it with you.
I miss you, Mother, please never think otherwise. But I cannot stay away from the beauty of the stars and the planets surrounding them.
My grandmother never took much stock in technology beyond the basics of necessity. Growing up, we had a garden and food animals. Yes, we had the replicator, but it wasn't used nearly as much as I might have liked. I don't know that I could do it now. I'd like to, but I think I've grown too soft on the amenities of twenty-fourth century technology. Nana Felisa would scoff if she saw me now.
A part of me wonders what I would have done if Ronin hadn't come into my life. There was a part of me that wanted to take up Nana's mantle of healer when she died. I didn't even care that I'd be leaving Starfleet or the Enterprise. I would have missed my friends, of course, but I was craving that sense of connection that I'd lost with Nana over the years.
I may well have hated it eventually, returned to Starfleet after my familial sabbatical. Would Starfleet have even welcomed me back if I had?
Perhaps I'll never know…
There was never a question of what she'd do when she grew up. Little Katie Janeway would follow in her father's footsteps in Starfleet, while her sister danced in their mother's footsteps to become an artist.
Kathryn would have loved to be as free-spirited as Phoebe. Perhaps if their firstborn had been a boy, it would have been different for her. But that was not the case, and she had a familial duty to fulfill. She would never be as decorated as her father, but she did her best at the Academy and at all of her posts thereafter.
Standing on the bridge of Voyager, she felt a strange surge of being both homesick and completely at home. Was this what her father had always told her would happen when she came into her own?
"Let's see what's out there."