Saturday, September 4, 2010

To cry or not to cry...

Journal Entry 1/19/10
  Today Mary left for basic training in South Carolina. I try to put it out of my head so I won't cry, and I haven't yet. I remind myself that it's just training, and she's in no danger. But not talking to her for nine weeks is going to be hard. My camera died when I tried to get her picture. I feel awful, all the stupid things I got picture of and I ddin't even bother to charge the battery before we saw her. Mom was really upset, not teary, but flighty, per usual; except worse this time. And dad decided to mask his true concerns with the worry that she wouldn't be fed. "Eat your lunch. You don't know when the next time is you'll be fed." I'd be lying if I said I could read Sean, but I'd also be lying if I said he wasn't upset.
  I know it's hard on the whole family but I don't feel like I can really relate to any of them. I'm the only little sister loosing a big sister.  Not so much loosing I guess, but it sure feels like it.
  The ceremony was the most depressing part in all of it. There was a baby girl in the cafe who cried when her dad left. And a big latino family huddled around their soldier. From what I could see he left behind a mother, sister, wife and daughter. And he was young, very young. Then there were the countless sobbing family members in the elevator out. It made me want to cry, more for them than for myself, I think.
  Oh and i almost forgot, I had to tell aunt J too. At our favorite diner, eating breakfast. They all just brought it up and suggested "Ruthie you wanna tell her?". Of course I didn't want to. But it was clear I had to. "My sister...has decided to...join the military." They were the hardest words to say, and I couldn't even look at her.

What she had to say...

 Journal Entry 9/11/09
  I've decided that rain is the best kind of therapy, it washes everything clean and gives a new beginning. I'd be exaggerating to say that it could wash away all the hurt in the world, but for that one split second when it's down-pouring and life is bliss, it really feels like it could. I can't stop Mary, I know that, I just wish this wasn't what she wanted. I guess it just really hurts me to think that she's gonna be so far away and possibly in danger. I know it's not all about me but I wish it were. Because if that were the case then she would be staying, for me, she wouldn't leave. It's all very surreal and hard to believe, I never would have thought THIS would be what she wanted.

  I wrote that the day after my sister came over for dinner. She's my older sister by twelve years. She's married to Sean. I wasn't sure of him at first, but I honestly don't think I could have asked for a better brother-in-law. Anyways, the whole thing was odd from the beginning. They asked to come over and "talk". While my parents were in denial that this meant anything I was convinced that I was going to be an aunt. No such luck.
  "The military. No it's not a joke. I want to be a flight medic. Sean came with me to make sure I got all the conditions I wanted." What?! What the hell just came out her mouth?! I don't think I was angry or upset. Shocked, completely shocked and confused. The words didn't even make any sense at that point. I look to my parents but they had the same expression as I did.
"So I can't talk you out of this?"
Sean interjected " I tried but..."
"No dad, I already made up my mind, and enlisted. It's official."
  Her husband had been to Iraq multiple times. I saw what that did to my sister, and to his family. Now she was going to do the same thing to us.