Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Update from Afghanistan -- sort of...


Yesterday I was unloading the crap, stuff out of the back of my car when I stopped what I was doing to say hello to a woman who faithfully walks her little dog by my house every day.  We were chatting about my big dog barking his head off in the window, sounding ferocious, but looking like a big ol’teddy bear who wants to come outside and play.  
She noticed the USMC pin I wear on my coat and the USMC sticker that is proudly displayed on my car.  She said Semper Fi and her face had the look of wondering if I was in the military.  I get that a lot and I don’t understand it.  If you knew me you would know there is no way I could last in the military for 30 seconds, especially the Marines! 
I explained my brother is serving proudly in Afghanistan.  Then I just started talking.  I told her he is preparing right now to come home and should arrive safely on US soil in about two weeks.  I told her how excited my family is to see him.  I told her he is going to meet his son for the first time.  She said God Bless and as she walked away she was visibly crying.  As I brought the remainder of the bags inside my house I had to wipe away tears of my own.  Did I say something wrong?
The next time I see her, which will be soon as her schedule is pretty reliable, I need to ask about why she cried and apologize if I caused her pain.  Did she lose someone she loved?  Hopefully she was just touched by my words.  Looking back, in that moment, I was so happy.   I must have radiated my joy over wanting to hear my brothers words rather than read his emails, and see him in real life, not in a picture sent from halfway around the world and watch his family finally become complete.  I hope this is what moved her to tears, rather than being saddened by my words.  Her reaction has stuck with me all day, I have thought of her often.

4 comments:

  1. Jessica-I am sure your words were what moved her to tears. You have a way with them in everything. However, I find that it is rare to hear someone speak of the war and our military with kindness or anything for that matter. I am sure you know we are a military family, my husband is active duty, and even we rarely talk about it. We know what is to come, it is never easy. And to actually talk about it can be so much harder. I had forgotten that your brother is active duty, and how supportive you are to him and even the men and women he serves with. People like you are appreciated right back, not only by those serving but by their spouses and children also.

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  2. Marcie, Thanks! When my brother joined he was in his late 20s. It was a dream of his that he deferred for a very long time. I could not help but be supportive. It feels much better to know that although he is at war, and very much in harm's way, he is helping the people of Afghanistan, training their military and spending time with local villagers. Throughout his time there he has only had positive things to say and the images he has sent back to me and my family are breathtaking. God Bless your family and your husband. Having loved ones serve makes us all connected in a unique way....

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  3. I would like to hear the rest of this story. Please update it.

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  4. I will Karen - as soon as I see the woman again. She walks by in the early afternoon and our activities this week have kept us out of the house all day!

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