This I Believe

Bethanie - Harrisonburg, Virginia
Entered on February 27, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family
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I believe that the connection a person has with a sibling is one of the most powerful and precious connections someone can have.

I have an older brother and his name is Mike. When we were little kids, I remember doing everything with him. Anytime we were bored, we would go out into our woods and climb trees, throw the baseball back and forth, play kickball, etc… Anything we could possibly do outside, we did. There was definitely plenty of arguing and compromise that had to go on before deciding what activity we would do. We definitely had our times of disagreement, which ended up being almost all the time because we were typical brother and sister.

We grew older and one day of his senior year, Mike came home from school and said, “I want to join the Marines.” I admired him so much for his decision, but I was scared to death. All I could do was picture him being in a war and being shot at. The thought of losing my brother made me cringe inside. Soon enough, he was preparing to go to boot camp in Parris Island, South Carolina. It was time for him get on the bus with all the other Marine recruits and be molded into a Marine. I had heard so many stories of how much people changed after their experience at boot camp, but I did not want him to change at all. When it was time for him to graduate from boot camp, my parents and me went down to South Carolina to watch and bring him back home. He was different, but not really in a bad way. He was mostly more mature, respectful, and extremely willing to do anything he was asked. Yet, he was still the same bullying, overprotective brother as usual, so that put me at ease.

Time went by and one day while he was on his duty in Afghanistan, he called me before he went to sleep that night and told me the most awful news I had ever heard in my life. First he told me that his friend had been killed in combat then, he said he literally felt the wind of a bullet go right past his head. I was so sad for him losing his friend and I was horrified by the idea that he could have been gone too. At the end of our conversation, he then said what seemed for the first time, the most sincere thing he had ever told me. He said he loved me.

Ever since that day, every time me and Mike talk we say “I love you” at the end of each conversation we have on the phone or if we talk online because we do not take each other for granted. Even though my brother and I are thousands of miles away from each other, we have the strongest connection we have ever had.