My little brother returns from his first tour in Afghanistan at the end of the week! I’m really sad I can’t make it down to see him touch down on American soil for the first time in 7 months (ugh, residency), but I’m just so glad he’s coming home safe and sound! Don’t worry Graham – brother-sister reunion in Seattle as soon as we can get you up here! (Rachie – we’ll get you out here too!)
Of all the pictures I took that weekend you graduated from Boot Camp to officially become a Marine, I don’t know why this one is my favorite. Maybe it’s because we got to see the barracks I imagined you reading our letters in for the first time. Mostly it’s because this has to be one of the only times you ever wore your BCs (short for birth control glasses) on the Island. Oh little brother, don’t you know that nerdiness is in now? Thick rimmed glasses can you get you laid. Or at least a phone number. You’ve just got to embrace it.
Last year around this time I was running my first marathon in D.C. Fitting it was the Marine Corps run through all the monuments on what would become the year pre-anniversairy of you coming home. I’m sorry you were on the opposite coast and couldn’t run it with me but I was thankful for the technology that let you call and encourage me to keep going. That push was just what I needed to make it over the bridge. I remember your pep talk from the night before:G: Good luck tomorrow. E: Yeah, thanks. If I survive this one we should do another one together. G: Well we both know that’s not going to happen. You’re not going to survive it!
And then part way through the race:G: It’s like that half we ran in Nashville, remember? E: Yeah, except not.. this is twice as long. G: Just think about how far Nashville was and then just pretend you forgot your keys and had to go back. E: I think you can just call a locksmith if that happens..
So I was the crazy girl who looked like she was on a little too much of a runner’s high, giggling into the speaker on my iPhone headphones when you called around mile 22 and asked if I’d found my keys or not.
And I’m so thankful that you got to come to our wedding last spring right before you left and walk me down the aisle. I know it was rough taking the red-eye in and then staying up all night with us to celebrate but I don’t think I could’ve had it any other way. Thanks for holding me steady down what seemed the world’s longest walk and for keeping me smiling by quizzing me on how many teeth a whale shark has. I think I made up something, but the answer is about 3000. I’m a human dentist, not a shark dentist.
Can’t wait until you’re officially home! Get ready for a visit full of otters, Thai food, comic book stores and xbox when you come!