My family is finally breathing a collective sigh of relief this week. After many years of going back and forth, my cousin Michael is home from Iraq.
It's difficult to have someone you love serving in war. Every time you hear of a bombing and soldiers being killed or injured, you wonder if your phone will soon ring with the news that your person was one of them. It's a horrible thing to have to wonder.
And communication is still not as instant as you would like it to be. A few years ago, Michael was injured and taken to Germany to recover, but we didn't know the injury had even taken place until he returned to Iraq.
Michael enlisted in the military when he was just a kid, fresh out of high school. He looked like such a boy then. I remember him coming home for the first time several years later and thinking how quickly he'd grown into a man. He's now married and has two children.
Mike is stationed in Fort Lewis, Washington, so we haven't gotten to see him yet. But I'm overjoyed to know he's home, sleeping in his own bed and getting to make his children breakfast for the first time in years.
I'm a former journalist turned marketer of concrete. I still type a lot. Other than that, I'm married to an oilman, the owner of a mini-schnauzer named Baxter and a lab named Lacy, chef to anyone with an appetite and a connoisseur of $10 wines.