"Your brother is going to be sent to Afghanistan in April instead of September. We aren't going to act all goofy about it. It is what it is."
Her words sounded confident.
I hadn't really opened up with her about my feelings towards my brother. I felt like this was my opportunity to let my mom know how I was feeling.
"Mom, to be quite honest, I don't know how to react to that kind of news. I've made myself extremely clear since the moment he enlisted that I was not happy about it. It was always a strong possibility he'd be sent to a war zone, and was even more apparent after Obama's speech the other week. I know this is going to sound bitchy, but I already feel like my brother is dead to me, so how do you expect me to act when you tell me something like that."
I wish I could swallow those words back up because what happened next completely broke my heart.
She lost it.
I asked her if I had to bring her down to the psych ward, because before I chose to blurt out those awful words she was fine.
Where did those words and thoughts come from? Months of pent up anger, resentment, and disgust towards myself and my brother for our non-existent relationship. Months of having to bottle those feelings up when I spoke with my mom because she REFUSED to allow me to talk with her about my dissolving relationship with her son.
The tears I have cried because of that boy could fill the Mississippi.
"HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT TO ME! NOBODY HAS EVER SAID THAT TO ME!!!"
"Mom, I'm not saying I want him dead...I'm saying that my relationship with him is gone. Over. Done with. He's non-existent to me, and I'm non-existent to him. It's not like this happened yesterday, mom. This has been going on for a long time, and you've refused to talk with me about it."
"I TRIED TO FIX THINGS BUT YOU REFUSED" she sobbed. (she demanded I attend a "mandatory family meeting" at her place, and I declined because I felt like it was going to be too hostile, unproductive, and awful...I refused to subject myself to walking in on a firing squad).
I explained myself and my feelings again..but at that point, the word of death was the only thing running through her head. She was mentally checked out of any conversation thereafter.
I feel so guilty that those words flowed out of me so easily...but I can't change my feelings about him. He's no different to me than a stranger on the streets. How am I affected if his life is over? I'm not. My son is short a father, and has been short an uncle since before he was born.
Side note: I am not a soldier hater. I am not anti-military. I am, however, against my brother deciding the military was his only option at succeeding in life. I think it was a cop out. I think my brother could change the world if he really set his mind to it, and I felt like cornering himself into the military was an easy way out....and it annoyed me. I also don't understand why a person who has a child in this world would enlist, when the possibility of death is so great.
I love my brother...and maybe my love for him hurts too much because of all of the animosity between the two of us. We don't talk. We don't know each other....and that sucks.
I'm sure conservatives will have a hay-day with my thoughts and feelings on my brother. I'm not saying they're right, and I'm not saying they're wrong...but my feelings are my feelings...you can disagree with my feelings, but they won't change (at least not today).