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Howdy. We've moved from Cayce, but St. Elizabeth of South Rose Hill or Lizette de Waccamaw de Sud just don't do it for me.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Elephants in the Room, Part 2

Izzy and I went to Brother B2's house yesterday afternoon, joining about 3 dozen relatives for a send-off for B2S1. This nephew, now 19, has enlisted in the Army and is headed this week to Basic Training. After graduation, we expect he'll head to combat, most likely in Iraq.

After sandwiches (egg salad and chicken salad from B2 & B2W2's back yard), we all gathered in the living room to talk to this nephew. All the adults told him how proud we were of his dedication to his country, of his willingness to serve, etc. Those who had been there (or had friends who had been there) told basic training stories. Izzy reminded him to duck once he got "to the sandbox."

It took one of the kids to say first what none of the grown-ups would say explicitly. "I sure hope you don't die." They love their brother, their cousin, and their faces and tones of voice showed the fear that all of us were feeling.

Afterwards, several of us watched him play the guitar downstairs. B1 videotaped; Mom admitted that this is the sort of thing recall most clearly "afterwards, when things go...when...afterwards."

Maybe it was the Go Army T-shirt, but I noticed I saw this "kid" differently than I had before. I'd last seen him just after his great-grandmother's death--he's grown up a lot in the past 8 months of so. He'll be lots different in 15 weeks at graduation, and much different as a veteran.

And we'll keep praying until he gets back, tattoos and all.

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