While little brother is deployed, I've made list upon list of things I would love to do with him when he comes home. Some are big things - like skydiving. Some are little things - like a hug.
When I think about all of the things that Chris and I have been, done, seen, experienced through the last 24 years together, that hug ranks high on my list. When I was 6, or 16, I never would have said that. But today, those hugs mark several defining moments in my life. When I think about the 4 moments below, they are
Defining Hugs - Courtesy of Little Brother:
- Our wedding day - moments following the ceremony, when we all did our "omg we did it" happy dance, I grabbed that kid and hugged his slightly teary face. And he hugged me right back - us both having such big smiles, so thankful for each other in that moment.
- Post Basic/Airborne - My dad was working second shift, so Mom and I went to the Philadelphia Airport to pick up Chris when he came home from Airborne for a few weeks of block leave. Mom and Dad had seen him graduate from Basic, but it had been more than 4 months since I had seen his face. He left just two days after Hug 1, and to see him in his camo glory come through those doors, oh my heart. There were tears all around (this seems to be a theme), and it felt so good to have him squeeze the breath out of me.
- The night we lost my mom. There was nothing that could make me feel so safe, and so vulnerable. I'll write this story here someday, but for now - I'll just say that this is one of those moments.
- Goodbye before Afghanistan - We had the greatest family trip to Ft Drum before Chris deployed to Afghanistan. It was an action packed 3 days with Dad, Kev, Tommie, and I and I would not trade it for the world. As we stood in front of Chris's barracks and got ready to load the cars, Dad took Chris and I both into his arms. I can't even write this without crying, and truly cannot wait to have both Dad and Chris in my arms again - which can't come soon enough.
Boy Wonder - I'll sign this blog post the same way I sign every card, every Facebook message, and every Skype session. Be Safe, Head Down, Go with Purpose.
Love Always, Big Sister