Sunday, May 25, 2008

In the Army

I was 8 years old when my brother Taylor was born. I was so excited! For me, it was like having a real life baby doll. I was big enough to help with the baby and I'm pretty sure I never let him out of my sight. The moment Taylor came home from the hospital I literally carried or drug him around everywhere I went. We were inseparable. I used to call him my little sweet pea. I have no clue where I got it from but that was my pet name for him. Once Taylor could talk he started calling me "Mama Nisey." He called me that for years and was kind of sad when he decided he was too old and too cool for that. We still laugh about those nicknames but they are precious, precious memories for me.

On March 13th of this year Taylor turned 18 years old. Within a week of his 18th birthday he decided he was joining the Army. He "discussed" it with my parents, however, his mind was firmly made up and our opinions carried very little weight. It really all happened so fast. We have all tried to just accept it and be supportive but we haven't had much time to process this thought at all. It was a very serious and honorable decision.

This weekend all of the family gathered for a going away steak dinner at my Grandmother's house. It was a fun gathering as long as I wasn't thinking about the fact that this was the last time I would see my little brother for a while. I have never gone more than probably 2 or 3 weeks without seeing him. Taylor and I are obviously not as close as we were when we were kids but I have always felt a special and very strong bond with him. I think I'm a little more protective over him also. I have just always felt like his other mother. I love him dearly and I am extremely proud of what he is doing. I am also terrified and anxious about all of this for him. I know deep down he will only benefit from this and become a better man. I cannot believe that he is old enough to be in the army. I feel like it was just yesterday he was following my every move calling me "mama nisey." I guess I was hoping I could grow up but freeze my siblings in such luck.

It was a pretty emotional weekend. My mom has been crying everyday since he broke the news of this decision. I've done good holding it together but I don't think I let myself really think about what was happening until this weekend. I cried during my dad's prayer at dinner, after I got a sweet text from a friend saying she was thinking about my family and when they started singing patriotic songs in church I really lost it. Then of course having to say good-bye to Taylor for good on Sunday afternoon was super tough for me. I hope that he knows that I will always love him and support him in any way I can. I just have a hard time letting go!

You are probably wondering exactly where he is going and based on this blog you probably think he must be getting shipped off to the front line in Iraq tomorrow. That is actually not the case....YET! He is leaving on Wednesday for his basic and advanced individual training. I don't know how I will deal with it when the time comes for him to actually be deployed. I can always hold out hope for the end of this war right? I have always respected and appreciated those who serve our country. My granddaddy and uncles all served and I'm always aware of the sacrifice that is being made for us. I've always admired those who are willing to serve and have admired the families that they leave behind. I've always said I can't imagine how it must be, unfortunately now we may have to find out. I have been in constant prayer about this for the last month and I know that is where I will continue to find comfort. I trust that God is in control and feel sure this is how I will deal with the absence of my little brother.

Finally it let me post my pictures!


Abby Euten said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abby Euten said...

Just wanted you to know that we are praying for you, ALL OF YOU. Uncle Chris left yesterday for Iraq. I think this Memorial Day was much more appreciated for all the right reasons, at least for me. Hang in there "nisey", this too shall pass!

Robin said...

Thank God for brave men like him. I will pray for you and your family. I loved reading about him on your blog. Robin

Lindsey said...

Well, I cannot really relate b/c I don't have any family in the military. I did have a close friend from high school who got back recently from being overseas. I know I did not like him being there and Jeremy always tried to make be feel better by saying that b/c he flew helicopters he was safer. Not so sure I bought that though! Anyway, prayer is going to be what comforts you and your family during his army time. And maybe you will get lucky and he won't ever have to be deployed! :)

Abby Euten said...

Cute pics! I can't believe how everybody has grown up!

Mandy said...

I love the pictures of all of you together. I can't believe how they have all grown up. I will be praying for you and your family with this adjustment.

Mitzi said...

He is so young. But I am so old!!!
We are praying for him, your crying mom and all your family. I am with your mom. That is my baby.

Rhonda said...

I too will be praying for your brother. I will pray for his instructors and leaders as they train him to be a soldier and fighter for freedom. This is not a death sentence....For many it is a career. It has been a good career for us for nearly 25 years. It has offered us many opportunities to meet great people and serve God in many churches. You will see a different guy come back from training. The Army has made our family, Maile included,more adaptable and open to new people and places. Sounds like your brother has a great support system...just make it a positive one. I will look forward to hearing about his successes.

Rhonda Guthrie
(Maile's Mom)
PS. Maile's brother was born when she was 8 years old.