See, yesterday I said "goodbye" to a soldier. It was the first goodbye I've ever said. Usually, I distance myself from friends who are joining the military so I don't get my heart broke or I become friends with them once they return. I've never stayed for the long haul. Unfortunately, this one is the one that is breaking me into a million little pieces.
I met this young man right around his 16th birthday. We've only gotten to be friends in the last year and a half. He has an easy way about him and the woman with social anxiety appreciates that. His quick smile lights up a room and his laughter brightens my day. He is so easy to joke with, yet isn't so silly that serious conversations aren't a possibility. We have had some great times.
I don't let people get too close, but somehow, he burrowed into my cold black heart and settled in to stay. When he joined the Army, he stated he wanted a party. He, then, asked that I stick around to do shots with him before he left. I honored his wish yesterday. It was hard for me to pour that shot of Jack for each of us because this meant it was real. And trust me, at some point, I was hoping this was all a dream.
In a very short period of time, this young man will be leaving and heading in the direction of his dream. A dream he's held since he was small. So, I ask that you keep him in your thoughts and prayers as he journeys on in this direction.
You'll never see this, Matthew, but know that you are loved and missed with every breath that is taken. Dammit, Kid, you've left big old cowboy boot prints on my heart! Take care and come home! I love you as if you're one of my own! 10 weeks, you said! It's only 10 weeks! I'm crossing off the weeks on a calendar until you come back to us, Kid :)
So for today, (and those who know me understand) I will be:
Love ya, Kid!