I love telling people what you do for a living, I get this surge of pride when I see their eyes widen and their mouths open a little in surprise. F-16, they always repeat the phrase, as if hearing it in their own voice will make it more real. If E is with me, he laughs and says, “yeah, he’s a real badass.” People chuckle, church folks and friends outside the faith, they smile and nod and say it’s true, you must be pretty awesome to do something like that.
We’ve been praying for you at church, each week after the homily we call out prayer requests and then our pastor prays through each one, by name and situation. People ask after you, after A and the boys, and they pray for you throughout the week.
I talk to your wife. I’m trying to be a better sister-in-law. It might be simply because she’s fabulous and I love talking to her (despite disliking phone conversations). But it’s also that I miss you and because I want to make sure she’s alright with you gone until April (which of course she is, she’s a tough one, that wife of yours).
I think that most of all, you should know that I love you. That I’m praying for you. That I’m confident you’ll come home safe and sound. I want you to know that I think about you–every day, and more than once. Whenever a jet flies overhead, I remember what your wife once told your son when I was visiting, and to the pilot I’ll never meet, I whisper outloud: be safe. come home. Every time I see a jet: weekend warriors, cadets at the academy, and all the rest.