This post begins with a long exhale. (and a few stray rolling tears) My brother has answered his personal calling to become a United States Marine. I am bursting with pride, excitement for his future, for the fulfillment he will feel wearing that honorable title. Being married to a Marine Veteran, and remembering those active duty days, I do have to say it leaves me a little breathless.
With all of that comes the worry. The grief over the loss of his presence in our day to day lives. The reality of what he could encounter. And with that my heart aches. So... my heart swelled up with pride so much it's just burst right open and is bleeding.
It happened sort of suddenly. Last year at this time, it wasn't really a discussion. The official decision was made recently, and even so his ship date to bootcamp was seemingly far off. Subject to change of course. And that change happened. A few days ago he got the call from his recruiter with the news that it would be in just a few days. The pain of that felt fresh. I remember my own husband walking around with a cellphone in his pocket like a ticking time bomb. Waiting for his command to call with "the word." The war in Iraq was imminent. The initial "troop surge" was already in place. We knew he was next. The sea bags were already packed and leaning against the wall by the front door. We just needed the call to tell us when. It could have been "in a few hours," or "tomorrow" or worst case scenario "NOW" We just waited... afraid to speak of it, like that would make it more real.
Of course this was different, but see here how fresh this is in my heart. Its wired into my brain now. So the recruiter called, and this young man now has a few days to wrap up life as we know it. I was planning on keeping him near through Halloween to trick-or-treat with my kids.
Yet here we are. And I'm processing it the only way that I really know how.
He had a choice in this matter, but it also sort of feels like he's fulfilling a prophecy. Honoring his destiny...
He was made for this.