Bravo Zulu

Yesterday, May 15, 2015 my younger brother graduated from Naval Boot Camp. He is now at his “A School” location and the emotions are overwhelming.

There is a large enough age difference between my brother and I where it is hard for me to draw the line between “Cool Older Sister” and “Neurotic Surrogate Mom.”

The past 8 weeks have been quite the adjustment, to put it mildly.

I went from talking to him numerous times a week, to nothing. Before Boot-Camp, I would call him whenever I needed (which was often.) I was always able to catch him just when he got off work. We would talk on the phone as he was driving home, him hitting up Starbucks or McDonalds. If my own personal household was annoying me (yes dear children of mine, I am talking to you!) I would call him for a quick “break.”

There were many late nights when he would call me, as he was driving home from a late night get together and did not want to fall asleep at the wheel. We would be so engrossed in conversation, he would miss his turn a time or too. I love those days.

As much as I am happy for him, and so very proud, a part of me feels I am in mourning. I wont have those days again will I? He is so busy now with school, those days are gone. Whatever free time he may have will most likely be used to study or sleep. I lost a part of my brother, and in turn, a part of myself.

I want to say it is okay. Because out of all of us siblings, he is the one that truly set out to do what he wanted to do and is succeeding. Many props to him.

But, I lost a part of him.

Look, I know that no matter where he is at, whether it is A School, or a third world country, he will always be my brother, I also know because this is a part of life, that I lost the daily communication. I can no longer call him in the middle of the day asking for advice. I can no longer call him because I have about 15 minutes to kill. I can no longer talk to him when I want to talk to him, when I need to talk to him. I never realized how hard this would be……for me. Which just goes to show exactly how selfish I can be.

I remember when I met him for the first time. He was only days old, I was a clumsy pre teen never holding a baby before. When he was placed in my arms my body clinched up. “What is this thing? I thought it was going to be a girl.” That lasted a whopping three seconds. Then I fell in love. I fell in love with this little baby and I knew right then and there, even as a little girl myself, I knew I would always watch out for him. I would do whatever I could to make sure he was okay. He was my little baby brother.

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Halloween. I do not usually dress as a cow girl.

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My brother, totally stealing my lollipop.

As I went on in life, had a few kids myself, my brother was there for them.

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My brother on the left, with my oldest son. Important to note, my son is now 21 living on his own. Are you kidding me??

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Yep. This is just too much for me. Brother on the left, son on the right.

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See. I popped out a few more kids. My brother is holding my daughter. The cute little baby you saw in the previous pics, he is standing next to my brother. My youngest son with the curls, he is now 14. Him and my brother have a very strong bond that I am forever thankful for.  Cute girl in the wheelchair, she is my niece.

And somewhere along the way, as I was living my life, so was he.

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My brother, being sworn in to the United States Navy.

I do not know how to mourn the loss while celebrating his new life.

My family is scattered all across the United States. Distance sucks. For the past four years, we always planned to get together here in Seattle.

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As much as I am holding out hope, these visits will not happen again. Because, you know, he will most likely not be here in the states.

Yet, he is doing what he wants to do. How do I come to terms with this? He is living his life, and for now, his life does not include the daily phone calls.

I am in mourning. It will never be the same.

One of my favorite songs ever is by Stevie Nicks “Touched By An Angel” has the most powerful lyrics.

“Everything was the same, Except that everything was different”

That just about sums it up.

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Bravo Zulu.

I miss my brother.

I miss not being able to talk to him when I need to.

It’s not about me, it’s about him.

A part of me needs to let go, I just do not think I am strong enough.

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