15 August 2009

A bit more candid than usual

In the Spring of 2002 I had just finished my undergraduate work and to celebrate I took every penny I owned and my little brother for a summer tour of some of our National Parks. This is a photo of Derrek and I at Crater Lake. I was 26 and he was 16.

When he was an infant I took him out late at night to see Halley's Comet (he barfed on my shoulder). I changed his diapers, took him sled riding, bought him beer, and helped him bury his father. He was still pretty young when I left home, so our trip was actually the first time we really had a chance to hang out. I believe I can speak for us both in saying that, even though we had been close, this trip changed our relationship forever.

All I've ever wanted was for him to be happy and safe.

This past May I found out that he had decided to join the Marines. I believe in peace, but I also believe that unless we can address some major global issues, there will always be a need for a military. Every morning when I go for a run I see a car's bumper sticker with a quote from Einstein that says something like, "It is impossible to simultaneously prepare for and prevent war." Actually I think Billy Bragg said it best that "the only way to disarm is to disarm." Admittedly, when I first found out about his decision I was angry and terrified. I was angry because I was afraid for him, and I was terrified because I was afraid for me. No one wants to run the risk of losing someone as close as he is to me.

On Friday Meg and I took a trip to Parris Island for his graduation. It was pretty damn emotional and never I have I been so proud to be his brother.


Autumn Belle said...

This is a touching story. My best of luck to you, your family and brother.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like he has a wonderful brother also.
I can imagine how hard it is for you and your family. You will be in my prayers.
And, many thanks to Derrek and all of the men and women who are bravely defending our country!

Katie said...

Kelly - after reading this blog since gosh darn near it's inception, I'm glad to see your candor. Thanks for sharing a small, yet important part of your life.

Meadowlark said...

Tell him you're glad he trained where the "REAL Marines" train ;)

And tell him Semper Fi from me.

YoungSon is in delayed entry until next May and we're completely stoked. But we're a couple of former jarheads, so whadya expect :)

It is a brotherhood that he will find nowhere else in the world. Oftentimes closer than family.

Peace to you.

our friend Ben said...

God bless, Kelly!

Laurel said...

Nice post.

Dandy said...

~sniffle~ Very sweet. But I knew it would be when you saved all your money and took your brother on a graduation trip.

Thank him for me, for keeping us safe.

Mike said...

I suppose I expect it from you, but I can appreciate your effort to "disarm," and respect your brother's ability to make his choices and find his own way - even if it's not what you might choose for him.
Your pride in his accomplishments is a solid example of where peace begins.

Best of luck to him, and I hope for his safety.

CatHerder said...

That was a beautiful post :-)

Steve said...

Great story! Our son just graduated from basic, AIT and jump school at Ft. Benning. The Army was a change from his mother and uncle, both Marines.

Godspeed to you, your family and your brother.

Steve in Central CA