I last saw him at the end of September. He arrived in Iraq on Oct. 12. Talk about a life-changing experience. I tried to act like I had it all together, but truth be told I was crumbling inside. I really believe from that point on, some things in my life had changed. I thought several people in my life would be there, but they really weren't. I learned how to lean on God. I learned how to allow Him to be my Healer and my Provider. I learned how much family really meant. Now, I still sometimes struggle with both, but nobody is perfect :)
Bryan and I have always been fairly close. In whatever he did, he always worked hard and never complained. Everyone liked him. Before high school, my life consisted of watching him play baseball in the fall, basketball in the winter, and baseball in the spring. You know what? I loved it. I would much of rather been there than do anything that I was doing lol. I am pretty sure I cried when they lost their area playoff game in basketball when he was a senior. I know, crazy huh? :) I mean I didn't even shed one tear when I cheered my last game or graduated from high school. He played the part of 'big brother' really well lol. He even allowed me to hang out with him, but there isn't much to do in small town Oilton, USA. So just 'hanging out' wasn't really my thing. However, being the younger sister, I loved being around him and his friends ;) Haha
Although he has always been a very determined person, I have never seen him put more into something as he has the military. In his unit, he was named Soldier of the Month in only his 2nd month to be there. It is a joke over there because he has met people such as John McCain, George W. Bush, Kellie Pickler, Lewis Black, WWF people (I'm not really into that lol), Santa Claus, and he is actually friends with Beau Biden. He was recently transferred to Camp Liberty because many officers had recruited him so much. Kinda makes a sister proud :) He gets up early and stays late. I actually do not like to get up early and stay up late any day haha.
He may be in an office, but that doesn't make him 'safe.' Because I like to read the news, every time I see a headline regarding Iraq or Baghdad, I go read it. Typically they are about an American soldier dying, but names are never released. I mean, I know if he was hurt or killed, we would know immediately as he was identified, but I still cringe every time I read one of those headlines. I don't think anyone really understands that. For the longest time, I felt extremely guilty for having fun because I knew he was in Iraq. I was really excited to learn soldiers could drink 2 beers on Super Bowl Sunday because I knew he would get to have a little fun. And, I know they make the most of their time by playing flag football games, running marathons and half-marathons (which my brother has won several awards or should I say T-shirts for placing in these events) and whatever else they do lol.
Bryan will be home in about two weeks for his 2-week leave. As excited as I am he will be home, I have incredibly mixed feelings. As hard as it was to say goodbye the first time, how about the second? My niece is super excited. She told me several months ago she wanted to hunt Easter eggs with daddy, so guess what we will be doing? I never knew it could hurt so bad when a 3-year-old looks up at you and says, "I miss daddy." Or, when you are blowing bubbles says, "that is going to daddy in Iraq." She can even point on a map where Bryan is and where we are. Wow, that is a long ways! lol
I am not writing this for pity. I am writing this because I feel like people are at different points in their life and we all need to understand that. Sorry if writing a paper, doing homework, and taking tests do not always seem like that big of a deal to me right now. Sorry if I would rather be with family than practically doing nothing at my apartment. Sorry if I would rather be with my niece and nephew doing anything with them than being a regular college student who doesn't have to think about such things. I am starting to feel like what I felt before he left. However, in two weeks, it all starts again. I know my emotions will be hanging right on my sleeves. And be careful, a simple "How are you doing?" might result in me breaking down haha. Trust me, it happened when he went to Basic Training! lol. I try to be strong; I am pretty good faking that emotion, but sometimes I just can't. Sometimes people can't. I am not always good at relating to people, but I try. I hope you will give it a try too :)