Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Photo of the kid
Some of you have already seen this picture in the mass e-mailing I did about 2 seconds after I had it in my grubby little hands. Sorry for the duplication, I'll throw in some new and improved notes along with what you already know.
There's my kid! My first Brian-siting since this was taken! There he is (on the right), yayyyy!
Coincidentally, his father (J) teaches a few courses at Fort Leonard Wood now and again. He had to go down there this weekend, and he and Bri's stepmom (M) got to spend about 45 minutes with Brian on Saturday afternoon.
I was helping Ilaiy shop (for t-shirts, what else?) when J&M called to give me the report on Brian. He looked so great, he's doing very well, and seems happy there. They would meet him again for church the next morning.
I have a confession to make.
I am rarely jealous. In fact, I can't really think of a time when I've envied another person, let alone harbor ill will against them for something they have and I don't. But while I smiled through hearing how great my kid is doing, it took all I had not to smash my cel phone on the floor, and follow this little kid's lead:
I admit it. For a split second there, I wanted to throw myself on the ground and kick and scream, "how come YOU get to see him? You get all the good stuff! Everything happens to me! No FAIR!"
But I didn't. I teared up, but knocked it off soon enough to beg for copies of photos.
And when J stopped by my workplace yesterday, I hadn't a shred of jealousy left, but mere gratitude for his kindness, for thinking of me, and knowing how bad I wanted to see those pictures. I wanted to pick him up and swing him around in a big hug, while he gleefully told me all he got to talk about with Brian. I want to hear everything, as usual.
He is going to Fort Benning, GA next. It is his station for 4 years, but there is, of course, no guarantee that he'll stay there.
The other guy in the pic is one of his best friends, "Hall." I talked to Brian last night, and he told me some about the young man he's pictured with. He said "our faces and hands are tan, but the rest of us shiny white."
They wear this garb all day long, sleeves and all, in near-100-deg. heat, doing push-ups in the sun, at 1:00 in the afternoon. He has 4 sets of this uniform, laundry goes out Tues and Thursday.
His friend Hall is leaving the day of graduation, going to desert training, and, after a brief stay with his family, is stationed in Iraq. Knowing this, that photo becomes even more bittersweet. I am nauseous, and scared for his family, and guilty about my own dumb luck. I pray for a big happy reunion 4 years from now, with his family and ours. I pray for comfort for his mother and father, and safety in his own life.
And for an end to this war, ohhh, for an end to it.