4 whole minutes. We said a LOT in 4 minutes, speaking as fast as auctioneers. He's doing ok. Tired of cafeteria food. Working out a lot. Misses home. Looking forward to more privileges, which will come every 2 weeks or so. He's made some friends. Can I send him his checkbook? And a picture of his car? Shit, one minute! I love you, I'm proud of you, and know that you have no idea how many people here care, ask about you and wish you well, I love you...bye....bye...
More people than you know....
Excerpts from an email correspondence I had, this week, with Brian's friend, Chris.
Me: [all mail] must now be addressed "Jolley [comma], Brian"Hm. "Brian is my Mom's son too." These words comfort me more than this kid knows. Because I know he speaks the truth.
Chris: I will make sure I make the changes every time I mail Brian, after all nobody wants to make him do more push-ups than he alreadys has to. ;)
Me: He told me they gas'd him last week! I may have to kick some army ass. No one gases my babies! [...] Is that what's the lesson about...teaching you to identify when to put the mask on...?
I'll wollop them with my pocketbook.
Chris: Yea, that drill is supposed to make you realize the importance of reacting quickly when it comes to biological weapons.
I would LOVE to go see you kick some Army Ass! They should be more afraid of you than they should their commanding officer. You better but a brick in your pocketbook!
Me: I don't really say pocketbook, but does sound like a cooler thing to beat the shit out of a drill sargeant with. Maybe your mom could help me out. Bricks for everyone!
Chris: Oh yea, Brian is my mom's son too and I KNOW she will kick some ass with ya!
Brian "ran" with a circle of 5, loyal. These 5 boys with different personalities, different interests, different lifestyles and backgrounds and home lives, and yet this in common: fierce mothers. Trying to save our own and offering what we could to each other's, knowing that there aren't too many teenage boys that want to confide in their own parents. And we hung on like hell and sometimes had to let go, and be thankful for this: What he doesn't want to hear from me, She will tell him.
Chris's Mom, Beth. God Bless her, I say! She helped me drag my kid across the graduation stage 2 years ago. She offered him a neutral environment to do his homework, and he was never offended when she didn't cut him slack. The last semester of Brian's high school was ROUGH, baby, and I don't know what I'd have done without her. I take some solace in knowing that while she nurtured mine, I was in my home, busy telling another to stay the night, cool off, and then rise above the conflicts in his own home.
And now, I hear "...my Mom's son too." and I love her all over again. And I recognize something more:
That you ALL are Brian's Mom too. That so many of you, reading this, commenting, and sending e-mails on the side, that you care for my kid's future, and his welfare. As I do you and yours. And there are those who stop me downtown, and my girlfriends send him notes and cards. And my male friends are to be recognized also, they ask about him, they ask about me, they ask to see the letter I'm passing around (hi Mike!)...
And I am doing fine. I am "coping" with missing my kid. And it so much easier because you care.