Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Briskly into denial

With the morning temp at a lovely 59 degrees F, it feels as though we've made the turn into an early fall, which is nice. The weather report shows a whopping 83 for a high this week so there is continued hope. The weather change always takes me by surprise, as if it's always supposed to be hot. I know why it changes but it always seems a mystery to me.

I have to say I am in denial about something. My brother leaves for Iraq in less than 4 days, but I haven't called him to talk to him. There is a slim chance it could be the last time I talk to him, but somewhere in my child-like thinking, I suppose that if I shut my ears and eyes up tight then whatever scares me will go away. In this case, my brother putting his life on the line for a country that frankly doesn't care whether he goes or not and sees the whole thing as a political bungle, and entering into a country where the people both want his presence (from what I've heard) and resent him being there. Now, he's a tough kid. He has to be to be a Marine, but he's still my baby brother. He was 10 when I left for college and grew up without me there. I have a different relationship with him than I do with the siblings closer to my age. It's not that rivalry that existed between me and them, it's a more protective feeling. I held him when he was a baby!

He still has an innocence about him. He's not up on all the technology, but spent his high school weekends hunting raccoons with his favorite hound in the woods rather than at parties (not that he didn't do his share of stupid stuff...We all do). He's a quiet thinker. He laughs and has fun, but keeps a lot of things to himself. He's a crack shot with a rifle and the Marines thought so too. They were training him to be a sniper hunter (better than the snipers), but the mission shifted and his assignment changed from Afghanistan hunting snipers to Iraq in a Bradley (which is a far sight better than a hummer - read DEATH TRAP). He's my brother so you know he's stubborn (that runs in the family) but he's kind too. I am afraid for him, but at the same time, know that finally found a place in the world where he can succeed.

But this phone call...I somehow feel it should be important, that I should say what I need to say in case I never get to say it again. But my brother (who is a bit of a good ol boy) will probably greet me with a 'Hey Nana (my childhood nickname)' and we'll talk about nothing in particular for a few minutes. I'll tell him I love him, he'll say he loves me too and that will be that. I know in my head that it doesn't have to be more than that, that he knows how much I love him, but it feels too casual. I can't go to CA and hug his neck goodbye. I wasn't able to get to TX to see him when he was there a few weeks ago. It's the option I am given and I will take it, but it feels inadequate. It reminds me how little I have taken advantage of what time he did have here in the US left. I could 'should' my self to death over this one. So today it's on my calendar. I'll make the phone call and tell him I love him and 'don't die'. And I'll pray for him every day, miss him and hope he has figured out the importance of email.

POST UPDATE: My cell phone rang this morning at 9:24 am (7:24 CA time) and it was my little brother telling me when he's leaving. Sooner, rather than later. We talked for a minute and he had to go load gear. I said what I needed to say and then cried for awhile.


Dana said...

i care that he's going :)

Mel said...

As one who loves my little brother, too, I cry with you. LU

Jaime said...

No words. Just wanted you to know I care with you.

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