Change For The Better
By Anonymous, Newark, DE
Without YouWhile Josh was at boot camp I had no idea what he was going through. Lets just say that they don’t make it exactly easy for a training recruit to communicate with their loved ones back home. I didn’t really have time to focus on my big brothers new life style because my life was beginning to change right before my eyes. Now that Josh had left I was the only child in the Remmell household still living at home. That meant that all eyes were on me at all times. My Mom was already the most uptight and protective person you could imagine. I had no idea she could get even more extreme, but boy was I wrong. Being in the spotlight caused us to get into numerous fights, putting a massive strain on our mother-daughter relationship.
“Sara why isn’t your room clean? Didn’t I tell you to clean up the kitchen? You can’t go out if your chores aren’t done. I don’t like your attitude young lady.”
I couldn’t take all this added pressure of being perfect. Now that Josh was gone my Mom had nothing else to occupy her time, but to drive me completely insane! Josh use to be my get away. My safe haven when mom was just getting to be intolerable, but what was I suppose to do now that he was gone? I felt like I was all alone. I mean Dad being the easygoing guy that he was tried to be on both of our sides. Keeping both his daughter and wife happy at the same time was getting so intense that it would make him explode at times.
At first it seemed as if I was the only one that missed Joshua. Making a box of Mac n Cheese just doesn’t feel the same when you have no one to share it with and obviously there is no such thing as a game of catch with one player. I would sit in the dark and laugh at movies and turn to my right and try to picture my brother crackling away, but it just wasn’t the same. I started to realize how much I needed him. My life felt like an empty black whole without my big brother and so my complaining started.
“Why in the world would you let them take him? We did everything together. Everything. Now I spend all my time alone. You have to tell them Mom,” I exclaimed.
“Sara, I did the best I could to convince him, you know that. He didn’t listen to me. There is no use get angry over it anymore. There is nothing we can do to change it. All we can do now is be supportive and strong,” my Mother explained.
I tried to get all my thoughts out between muffled yelps.
“He can’t stay with them any longer. I need him here. Now! You don’t even care anymore. You don’t even miss him. If you missed him you would bring him home to us!” I yelled vigorously.
At this point I couldn’t help the water works so I let them rip full force. She came over and tried to comfort me in a motherly way, but I didn’t want that mother. I wanted the mother that expressed her thoughts. The one that said there was no way in hell she would let her son join the Marines and would do anything to stop it. Where had that lady gone and who was the person rubbing my hair? I needed someone else in this damn house to shed a tear and show one ounce of emotion. I needed to know that it was okay that I was depressed and I wasn’t the only one.
That night there was no way I was getting any shuteye. As I lay in my bed staring at the ceiling, I became engulfed in replaying every moment I could possibly think of that contained my brother. Just as I was thinking about the time we were picnicking out in the front yard and that darn squirrel was getting ready to steal Josh’s sandwiches right out of his hand, I heard something. It wasn’t a TV or someone talking. I got up and pressed my ear to my door and then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew exactly whom that noise was coming from and what it was. I sprinted into my parent’s room and froze. She was holding his picture in her hand and her nose was puffy and as red as an apple. My heart plunged into to my stomach and I grabbed her and held her tight. I began to taste salty tears in my mouth and we both laid in the comfort of each other’s arms and said nothing for hours. Right as I was about to nod off I heard in the smallest whisper,
“Strong. I was trying to be strong. For the both of us.”