Monday, January 11, 2010

And He is Off...

Wow! What a weekend! An emotional weekend at that, but I'm very thankful to have been able to spend it with my brother before he left yesterday afternoon for Marine Boot Camp. To read previous posts on my brother leaving, click here and here.

Saturday night, our rather large (in size, not weight) family went out to eat for dinner to celebrate my Brother's departure for Boot Camp the next day. My Parents, brother & his girlfriend, my other brother & his friend, and Me, Paul & Bree packed ourselves around two rectangular tables that they had to push together, at the International House Of Pancakes. Yes my friends, that means IHOP.

Now, you wouldn't think that IHOP would be a place someone would want to go for their last big meal of the next 13 weeks, but IHOP holds a special place in our hearts. We have been going to IHOP since my 14 year old brother could eat free (and that's only for kids 3 and under). Errett chose to eat at IHOP when he graduated from High School, and IHOP has been the chosen restaurant for many of our family celebrations. This is just how we roll. We like IHOP. Betcha didn't know that IHOP could be used that many times in just a few sentences...

Bree spent most of dinner, screaming at the end of the table. She is usually relatively good when we go out, but that night she had an audience and she was performing. We still had fun. We're a fun family. Seriously. Before we left, Errett's girlfriend Sam (she and I share the same name), made sure we all got a picture together:
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(From left to right: John-my 14 year old brother, my Daddy & Mama, Errett & Sam, Me, Bree & Paul)

We are a fine looking group of people, aren't we? Seriously, Best. Family. Ever.

I was a little nervous when Sunday morning rolled around. I wasn't sure what to expect, and I wasn't sure if the entire process of leaving would go quickly or not. We had planned to get there early, and we took lots of pictures together as we waited on the others to arrive.
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We actually hung around the Recruiters Office for about an hour, talking & laughing, before it became that time. But once it became that time, everything went relatively quickly. My brother hugged us all, we said our goodbyes, he hopped in a mini-van (there were only 3 of them leaving) and vrooooom!, off they went. Seriously, that mini-van went barreling out of the parking lot on two wheels!

So then I cried

I had managed to keep my tears to myself while Errett was there, but as soon that crazy mini-van left the parking lot...the tears pushed through the surface of my eyes and leaked down my cheeks. I knew I was going to miss him like crazy.

The anticipation of him leaving has passed. He is gone now, and we won't see him for another 13 weeks...but I know that this time will pass quickly. I know that, even though he will be a lot bigger than me in a few weeks...he is still my little brother and I will be so proud of him.



Brandy said...

I love me some ihop. great choice. good job for you not crying until he was gone - I bet that helped him

MrsM said...

Hang in there-time will just fly by before you know it =)

Shandal said...

You really do have a lovely family. I know it's hard to say goodbye to someone, even if it is for a few months. I would have cried too. I'm super sensitive and emotional. That's really awesome though that you and your lil bro are so close.