Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’

She Ra

On this sleepless night my mind is preoccupied with the dwindling time before my big sister deploys to Iraq. I don’t know how I’ve gone this long without it becoming a reality, perhaps a combination of luck and the perception of her indestructibility.

You see, I grew up the youngest in a very large family and she was like a surrogate parent; mom and dad were busy just putting food on the table, ensuring our education, and getting us all to church every Sunday. When the other siblings viewed me as a nuisance, she strapped me into the seat on the back of her bike and hauled me around everywhere they went. When they’d all go out in the desert with bows and arrows and she found I didn’t have the strength to even hit a target, she went to the swap meet and bought a little 25lb fiberglass bow, fixing it up just for me. She cured any fear of reptiles by sitting me down at the neighbor’s house and allowing me to spend hours playing with his baby snakes. She taught me how to drive both automatic and standard by the time I was 12, requiring me to stop on a hill and start back up without rolling backward. She took me to the shooting range and showed me how to handle various guns. And she even took me out dancing to my first bar when I was 14.

I’ve always viewed my sister as She Ra; the only woman who can fix a car, scale a mountain, cry at the beauty of a waterfall, slaughter a deer, and have a great meal on the table… all in a day’s work. She has no patience for pettiness and would be flabbergasted if she were ever forced to watch a minute of “reality” TV. When we shared a room growing up, she’d put ABBA Gold on the record player until I fell fast asleep with visions of dancing queens in my head. But tonight I have no such sedative, as soon she’ll be shipping off to a combat zone.

In my current “city life” I hope she doesn’t think I’ve brushed aside what she’s taught me over the years. It all played a formative role in my independence, keeping me grounded, and gives me confidence every day. I have faith that no one is more prepared than she for this journey. But I must come to terms with the reality that, as a colonel, she has a giant target on her back. I just pray that she doesn’t end up a feather in someone’s cap. There are lots of nieces that are eagerly awaiting her next piggy-back ride or her insightful addition to their tree house, and nephews needing her guidance on how to survive without video games and make it past the breakup with their latest girlfriend. Underneath that uniform she’s still my sister who is fascinated every time she scuba dives, transfixed by the birds while sitting on the porch, roused by a competitive game of ping-pong with her big bro, and entertained while staying up late to do our nails.

Love ya, Giraffener… know that we’re standing right behind you with pride and hope to get you home safe soon.