things (part 4)

My little brother will soon be deploying deployed for Afghanistan last weekend.

Though a self-proclaimed pacifist at heart, I respect that his chosen field is honorable and, yes, even necessary. I am proud, proud, proud, PROUD of him -- he seems to have found something that he is passionate about and has worked very hard to get to where he is. He is (usually) a level headed kind of guy, quick to collar his hot-Italian emotions. He is excited to learn, eager to experience, willing to explore. He is thorough, dependable, respectful and respectable. He is exactly the kind of ambassador that I believe we need when dealing with cultures and traditions and viewpoints not our own.

I recognize that there is an element of danger to what he does/will do. He is a long way away from "home". There is the possibility that I hugged him for the last time at my sister's wedding in June. And yet, I sit here, struggling to figure out what is wrong with me because I'm not all verklempt about it. There is no wailing and gnashing of teeth for him in my soul. No wearing of sackcloth, no dabbling in ashes. I am excited for him, perhaps even a little envious of this amazing opportunity he has to go LIVE life, to go roll around in the dust and life breath of others, to embrace and swallow and digest and scoop up and spit out all those incredible many differences and similarities. My toes tingle in false anticipation, as if it's ME on this journey, somehow living vicariously through emails and Facebook posts. I think of him at odd times during the day, wanting to know what he's seen, what he's done. How does it smell? How does it sound? How does it taste?

And if he doesn't come back on his own? If he DOES come back, changed, wounded? My heart will be broken, of that there is no doubt. But my stomach will dance, knowing that he took his chance, grabbed it with both hands, held it high above his head and ran with it.

Living life on your own terms. To me, that's heroic.


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1 comment:

Lora said...

all the best and many thanks to your brother and your entire family while he is away