Wednesday, October 12, 2005


In Case of Emergency, Call Sis


In Case of Emergency, Call Sis
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"For the hundrefth time: He loves you. He's fine. Now shut up and leave me alone."

To my sister's immense credit, she has never spoken these words to me. Not because I haven't deserved them, but because she's a truly kind and patient person.

I'm a worrier. And when the object of my worrying is something as crutially important to me as my relationship with Sidney - well, I can be a real mess.

In the clear light of day, my fears seem irrational. But in the middle of the night, when the demons like to drop by, the thoughts run something like this: Sidney's half a world away. He might not see a lot of women, but the ones he does are probably strong, confident, intelligent, and maybe even pretty. Besides, what woman wouldn't look good in the middle of the damn desert? He and they are sharing something that civilians like me can't understand. They're at war. They're lonely. They need comfort. What if he forgets about me? What if he thinks I've given up waiting on him? What if he finds something better? What if he does come back to me, but he's so changed that we don't even know each other?


I do have a couple of weapons in my sanity arsenal. One is rereading things Sidney's written to me: love letters, mash notes, poetry, plans for our life together. Usually that's enough.

But when it's really serious, I pick up the phone. Sis has always been a rock for me, but she's really earned her Special Sister Forces tab since Sidney's been deployed. She can read my mood before I get anything more than "Hello" out, and she knows what to do with it - when to reason, when to josh me, when to sympathize, and when to just make comforting noises because I'm beyond any of that. She's never failed to talk me down out of my tree.

She's appointed herself the first line of defense. Any fears I have must be vetted by her, because Sidney should not hear them; he has enough on his mind. And so Sis listens, and reassures, and listens some more, and reassures some more. This war is full of unsung heroes, and I believe my sister is one of them - someone who's quietly playing a very important part in supporting one very special soldier.