Monday, January 05, 2009

Because I'm such a good sister

In between the holiday parties, opening of presents and time spending with my other half, we had a going away party for my brother in law, James. About six months ago he received a letter requesting his return to U.S. Marines as he was still in the inactive reserves portion of his enlistment. All of the guys he was friends with while he was still in the active portion (he's been finished with that part for a little more than two years now) received the same letter, so they all shlepped out to Kanasas (i think) to Fort Leonard Wood to make sure they were all "combat ready". Unfortunately the attempt to prove he wasn't (James has some bad knee and back issues) didn't fly with Uncle Sam. His orders showed up a few months ago and today he flew out to California for four months of training then...well...who knows what will happen. He could be depoloyed again (he's done tours in Afghanistan and Iraq) or, maybe and we're all hoping for this one, the new president will stop all new deployments and he'll finish out his seven months in the States.

My sister is of course a mess. The last time James was deployed they were living in North Carolina and it was just her and one of their dogs. She had her militar wife friends to lean on. This time around, well, there's more to be concerned with. My niece turns 2 next Sunday. How do you explain to a 2 year old where their daddy is and why they can't see him? There's another dog to contend with and all of the stuff that goes along with just getting by every day. Granted she's got both James' family and ours here and willing to help at a moment's notice. Heck, her father in law lives just around the corner so if she needs anything done at the house, he's right there. My mom will continue her role as Super Grammy, watching Rylee in the morning and afternoon before my sister gets out of work.

Tonight I'm playing the good sister and staying overnight. Originally I didn't want to. I mean, I have my nice, new, soft, comfortable bed to sleep in, why would I want to sleep on her couch? To be honest I had hoped she would drop it and forget about it but yesterday as I was at work I got a text "What time are you coming over tomorrow night? I really need someone here." Then my dad called, I'm not even getting into the irony of my father trying to stress the importance of family. He wanted me to just spend the one night at my sister's place. So of course, because I can't say no to my family, I agreed. I talked to Will about it before bed and he can't understand why I would do it, I mean, what is she going to do the other 364 days James is gone? Sure, she's my sister but is this really necessary?

I didn't have an answer. Truthfully, I was a little resentful. Why do I have to be the one to put my life on pause? Why do I have to be the one to give up a guaranteed night of restful sleep for a night of fitful, unrestful shut-eye on a couch? Why can't someone else do it?

As today has worn on, and I've had time to think about it, the answer is simple. She's my sister. And that's all I need to know. We've gotten closer over the last couple of years and I know she would do the same for me.

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