Monday, December 2, 2013

for friday...

I saw a welcome home sign this morning on my drive in to class, and I almost started crying.

It's strange to me that even now, close to 10 years since I last saw my brother, little things can get to me. This morning it was the banner in a front yard welcoming home a Marine. A couple days ago it was a picture I found tucked away of Michael in Iraq--made even harder when Raiden walked in and saw it in my hands. She said, "Uncle Michael," then went on to say, "I'm really sorry for you, Mommy."

Friday is Michael's birthday, when he would have turned 33. Sometimes, I'm overwhelmed by the thought of how young 23 really was and how much life he has missed out on.

I know they say it isn't the years in someone's life that matters, but the life in someone's years.

To be honest, though, sometimes I wish "they" would just keep quiet.

I'll be 30 next summer, and I can't imagine anyone who would have teased me more about that fact than my big brother--even though he would have reached that milestone 4 years ahead of me.

I'm incredibly happy for that family who is getting to welcome their Marine home, just as I am happy for all Michael's guys who made it back. Today though, so close to a birthday that will never be the same, it was hard to see.

If you get a spare moment on Friday, I hope you'll think about Michael--and our family--on his birthday. Maybe have a slice of cherry cheesecake...or some barbeque little smokies...or a game of Risk if you have more than a moment.

Take a minute to say a couple of prayers in his memory: a prayer of thanksgiving for all those who made it home, a prayer for safety for all those in harm's way, and a prayer of remembrance for those who are missing out on birthdays way too soon.

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