I kept telling myself not to cry. "Just rein it in," I thought "please do not cry" (crying would ruin what remnants of makeup were left on my face, and would make the whole thing even harder). The graduation part wasn't so hard. He walked up on the stage for a maximum of 30 seconds and was back down before I could snap my fourth frame. So, considering my brother was graduating and my life was changing forever in that instant, I held up pretty well.
But, Monday was different, really different. I woke up in a rush and quickly donned some skinny jeans, a collared shirt, and sweater (because it.is.cold.) and ran out the door. When we got to Stewart Hall over at Purdue, I was still feeling a bit panicked. Then, I sat down, took a sip of coffee, and everything settle down around my shoulders. My brother is being commissioned into the army. He'll leave in February. This is the last Christmas that our entire family will have together for a while. For Pete's sake, he's going to Alaska. I tried to stop it; there's always tomorrow to deal with it.
(please, no judgement on my hunchbackness or lack of neck...) ;)
Somehow I got roped into taking pictures (funny how having a camera that looks semi competent does that) and documented everyone's swearing in. When Alex's turn came, I suddenly couldn't see out of my lens. Quizzically I pulled the camera away from my face only to realize that I had tears gliding down my cheeks. Without a moment's hesitation I yanked the camera back up and proceeded to photograph the momentous occasion.
I just can't help but think back to when all of the Blake kids were in the basement doing school together. Alex and Trevor would tackle me and "show" me a new wrestling move. I squirmed and yelped for help. They would guilt trip me into going outside with them, only to have a snowball fight (the two of them against me...). Courtney would tell me stories while I listened, hanging on her every word. The boys would put on shadow puppet shows late at night and I would sneak into their bedroom to watch. That was just yesterday, I swear.
Now, we're grown up (at least on the outside). Some of us have jobs; some of don't (and we're dirt poor). But, none of us forget what makes us siblings. We rail on each other, abuse one another, and love each other. We're the loud family on the street, and our elderly neighbors think we're "those crazy homeschooled kids." While things are continuously changing around me, we always know that our family will never change, that God loves us an insane amount, and that deep down, we're all the same as we were a decade ago.
Change has never been my friend. I resent it and avoid it like the black plague. Maybe, somehow, I making strides (maybe...). Not everything can always be the same.
The Blake kids, all grown up and young again.