I remember crying once, when I was an intern, after the first time I knocked on the door of a mother whose daughter had been killed in a car accident (to be clear, I wasn't by myself, I don't think any news organization would send an intern on a mission like that).
I remember crying on or about September 15th, about 9/11. I didn't cry that day, or the rest of that first week, because I was working non-stop, and it felt like a "story," not like reality. It hit me when I was home alone, watching all of it on TV, that this was really happening to my country.
And, this morning, when I watched an interview with the wife and parents of one of the Navy SEALS killed over the weekend in Afghanistan, I cried. Right there on the couch in my living room, clinching my coffee mug, knowing I should be in the shower by now, I'm going to be late for work...
Tears streamed down my face.
More tears in the shower.
I'm so sad about this loss of these great men.
My heart aches.
And, of course, I can't stop thinking about, worrying about, and praying for this guy:
Sometimes it is just surreal to me that my little brother is on the side of a mountain in Afghanistan right now. With a gun. Or two. That he is in danger.
It makes me sick to my stomach to think too much about it.
He told me not to worry.
So, I'm trying not to.
Really, I am.
But I stalk his Facebook page out like a hawk, looking for any activity, so I know he is okay.
Or, activity of his friends who are also deployed with him.
I'm a stalker sister.
The only time I feel like I'm doing anything remotely helpful is when I'm buying stuff for him and mailing it.
And when I see people like this on the metro...
I stop listening to my iPod for a minute to say, "Thank you," because they deserve our thanks.
And, when my little brother makes his way home after this crazy year in Afghanistan, I want him to be overwhelmed with pats on the back, with airport applause and with people telling him, "Thank you."