Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Our Own Yellow Ribbons

My sister is sending her husband off to war tomorrow.

The person she loves. Her partner in life. The father of her child. Off to a place where uncertainty is normalcy and work is done without question. Days are long and hot. We think it's been warm here; we don't know from warm. I'm ashamed thinking of my complaints about long days in an office when I think about the life my brother-in-law and his soldiers will lead over the next several months.

I have to take this time to say a little about my brother-in-law (with the complete understanding that thousands of families are feeling this same feeling right now and that not one of them wants to see someone they love in danger) and who he is: a fantastic person. He is smart, successful in whatever he attempts and he loves my sister and my nephew with everything he does. He is a strong person and a good man that I am proud to know.

And I have to admit, it's difficult for me to understand why he has to go in the first place. The task he has to accomplish is not what I'd consider a solid plan. If I were to bring a plan like this to my boss and suggest we spend money and time and take priceless risks, I would be sent away and likely, not asked back.

I suppose it's normal for family members to ask these questions. Why should the life of someone we love be risked in the journey down a road that doesn't seem to end? Whose responsibility is this, really? It's a difficult time and often, the questions don't have answers. Or, if they do, they never seem good enough.

What we do have, though, is my brother-in-law. He believes in doing good work. He believes in leading a strong team. He believes in doing the best he can with a situation. And he believes in his country. I know, it's strange to read: A person, regardless of how they feel about politics, can and will do the best they possibly can in service of their country. I sometimes wonder if that's possible, to separate those feelings. But it is, and he does.

So, over the next few months we will wait. I will talk to my sister more times a day than I already do. She'll come here and I'll go there and I'll try to help her however I can. And she will be okay, because she's strong too.

Just as in all those that came before, part of the strength in this war is found at home.


GirlGoyle said...

May he come home safe and very soon.

Runner Girl FL said...

I will be thinking of all of you. He sounds like a great man.

Sizzle said...

This is a really beautiful and eloquent post. I'm glad you wrote it. I will think safe thoughts for your brother in law.

justacoolcat said...

Let's hope and pray for his safe return and an end to this war.

backofpack said...

This post is a beautiful tribute to your brother-in-law. We have friends who've been over and back, we have a friend who is currently there, and another who is leaving in August for a year. The military life is tough on families and on relationships, but everyone we know feels proud to serve and proud to go. I'll be thinking of your family.

Ginger Breadman said...

Your post puts serving in the military in perspective in a lot of ways for the soldier, for the family, and for the common citizen.

craig said...

What a beautiful tribute to your brother-in-law. I hope he has a chance to read your blog.

Bre said...

He sounds like a lovely person to have in your life! I'm rapidly becoming an old pro at this type of thing, one fo my cousins is on his fourth tour and 3 others are currently serving. It's scary, I won't lie. It's scary every day. But there are ways to be proactive and make things not so miserable for them there! If you need tips on what types of things to send over in a care package, just drop me an email! I'd be happy to help in any way I can!

justrun said...

GG- Thanks. I hope so, too.

RGF- Thank you. Indeed, he is.

Sizzle- Thank you for your words and your thoughts.

JACC- I agree.

Back- Thank you for your thoughts. I know our's is just one of so many families in this situation.

Ginger- It truly does involve everyone.

Craig- Thank you. Maybe someday, he will.

Bre- I know, it never gets easier. He's been there before and it was just as scary then, too. Thanks you.