|Me and my bubba right before |
he left for the Marines.
This was right before baby #1 was born
My Bubba is one of the most important people in my life. We had a strange childhood, rough at best. People always comment about how close we are as siblings, but if you have a father who's easily prone to anger and a mentally ill mother I guess as a child you have no choice but to band together. I absolutely love my parents, and I am very close to them now, but I just can't pretend that it was an ideal childhood. The great thing that came out of it was learning how to grant true forgiveness, learning that people really can change, learning the art of caring for someone who can't care for themself, learning about what it really means to be there in sickness and in health and for better or for worse. On the new facebook timeline I was looking back when I first joined. It was neat to look back through the years, even neater when I found a post from 2007 about my brother that I figured I would share. This is a story about the first time he had to leave us and we were unable to contact him.
My brother left for the Marines on Sunday. We've always been so close, and he's always acted more like an older brother rather than acting like the little one. I remember when I went to watch him speak in chapel about everything we've been through with our family. He started crying before he could even talk, so I ran up onstage and pulled him off and just hugged him. I remember his teacher telling me that my little brother talked about me all the time and he could tell he just really loved me. My favorite memory is when I had a dream that he died, so I ran into his room just to make sure he was breathing. He told me to lay down and said he would stay awake all night and hold me so I knew he was still alive and could feel him breathing (even though he fell asleep in like 2 seconds). I've never felt closer to him than when I found out I was pregnant. He's so excited about being an uncle. He would call or come by to check on me every day, but now I can't even text him just to say hello. Today when I got back home Rob handed me a letter from some man in South Carolina. I had no clue who it could be so I opened it and saw a $5 bill. Out fell a tiny torn off piece of paper that said, "Take this off my hands for me, it's for the baby. I love y'all" It had our address on the back which I thought was weird. So I opened up the big yellow piece of paper that was also in there and found another note from someone I didn't know. It said, "I sat next to your brother on the plane from Dallas to Savannah. He wanted his new nephew to have this $5. Your brother is doing a wonderful thing serving for his country."
My Bubba met my son when he was 2 months old. He was so upset over missing the birth that he got a tattoo on his bicep representing all of the things he felt he would have to miss because of his commitment to the Marines. I had never seen a tattoo more beautiful. He has missed the birth of my other 2 because of deployments and he now has a beautiful daughter, whom he was not even able to meet until she was 4 months old. He was definitely right when he said he was going to miss things. He's not the same little boy who was my brother. He is now a man who has seen, experienced, and done more than I will ever know. He is different, but I will still always be his big sister who cherishes him and who is more than willing to pull him in my arms and just hug him whenever things get just a little too hard.