••• Friday, April 22, 2005

Brother, How Art Thou? 

To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time. ~Clara Ortega

For the past three months, my brother has been working in a scary part of the world, for a company that does scary things.

He was due home, tomorrow.

Yesterday afternoon, my sister called me at work, hysterical. Through gasps and hiccups, she told me there was a helic0pter crash, in the scary place, and the people on board were employees of the company that does scary things.

She also heard that the helic0pter was enroute to the scary-place-airport;* a logical destination for a brother in a scary place, in search of a safe portal home.

Being the rational, "go to" member of the family (I know, it's a fuckin' stitch), I was able to calm my crazed sib, while successfully fighting the urge to blow the chunks of my inner sanctum, all over my work space.

After successfully pawning my now calm sister on to my mom (via the formerly hated, now fully appreciated call waiting), I spent the next hour scouring the internet, in search of information that would rule out my brother as a passenger, on the ill-fated flight.

Also, in that hour, I became a one-brain case study in how many things a person can worry about, at one time, without psychic implosion. ::It’s between 2,333,994,384 and 2,334,675,948. ::

At 4:15, my husband called me with news that my brother had not been on the helic0pter and he is, indeed, alive. However, his caravan had been hit by a r0adside bomb, which killed one man and injured my brother. While there was no word on his specific injury, my husband assured me that my brother said, more than once "I'm okay."

I'm okay.

Okay. What does that mean? Short of death,okay can mean just about any thing.

I'm Okay (but lost a limb).
I'm Okay (despite the 3rd degree burns).
I'm Okay (aside from the closed-head injury, which affects my ability to accurately ascertain the proper contextual application of okay).

In the absence of more information from the scary part of the world, for the next 20 hours (minus 3 hours of sleep), I could do nothing but speculate on the possible meaning of that one little word.


At 2:00 pm today, my sister called to tell me that she had spoken to a rep from the scary company, who assured her that my brother was okay (ambulatory) and likely on his way home.

At 3:00, I received a brief email from my brother, saying he's okay (But still incountry. Likely leaving in a day or so.)

And at 3:03, this afternoon, I decided that I'm Okay (But I can't stop crying)
(And Crying)

*We later figured out that fear had clouded my sisters ability to listen to details and that the 'c0pter in question was headed not to the scary-place-airport.

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