Sunday, Dec. 16th is the 24th birthday of my nephew, Peren. I didn’t send him a gift or a card or any sort of contact since the last time he was home. I can’t explain why except, I don’t know how to. I don’t mean that I physically do not know how to send him anything. It is an emotional thing. I don’t know, emotionally, how to reach out to him. I tell myself that others are closer to him, or they are better able to relate to him. Truthfully, it is all just a big cop-out. I don’t know how to do emotionally hard things. About the only thing I ever do is try to make them look easy or pretend they are easy, but in reality they aren’t, and this is one of those things that I am just a wimp about.
Peren is overseas serving in the military. He joined the army after he graduated from college. He was initially stationed in Italy, and last Christmas two of my sisters (his mother and the sister closest to her in age) and their families went there to be with him. The rest of us stayed home.
This year he is not in Italy. I keep asking which province he is stationed in, but since I don’t understand the geography, I never compute where it is, so I am in the dark. I believe I prefer the dark. Frankly, I scares me to death. He is the same age as Victoria, well he is older by six weeks. See she is that daughter I always worried would die if she would have been a boy. Peren’s service to our country, brave and heroic though it is, scares the living crap out of me. I am sort of selfish that way. Though I would like to say it is a genetic trait, it isn’t, my mother taught me that skill.
She also taught me how to scare the living crap out of others, like children. I used that skill on my daughters often and even on my grandson on occasion. If you have read my blog from the beginning, you know the story about how my girls always put their butts up in the ditches outside of our rural home in Jamestown. They were always worried that someone would grab them. I didn’t give that lecture to my nephew. I always figured he had his own mother to do that and besides the other aunts could as they were always more active in his life. Today, I just wish that I could give him a hug.
It hit me while we were watching this crazy Holiday Wrestling Tourney in Linton. First off I have to tell you that my glasses need changing again. I can’t see all that well across a large area and mostly the lenses are scratched badly. Anyway, I looked up and noticed a young man warming up for his match. He was about the same size and hair color as Peren. He was doing that side to side jumping to warm up as I saw Peren do so many times getting ready for a basketball game or a track meet. Then I remembered that Peren wrestled as a little boy in Phillip, South Dakota. I never saw him wrestle, but I bet he was pretty good. There wasn’t any wrestling in Herreid, so he switched over to basketball, and boy oh boy was he good.
I will leave this with the photo of Peren and Grandma Patsy after a big win. Oh how she loved him. In fact, if it is possible for those who have passed on to watch over those of us left behind, I can guarantee she is watching over him right now, and thank goodness that she is. Happy birthday Peren. May you have many, many more, and may we all celebrate them together. God bless you today and everyday. And thank you so much for what you are doing for us, even if we can’t wrap our brains around it.