With fourteen children in my family during my formative years, I'm surprised that it seemed like Robbie was the baby for the longest. Maybe it was because I was in high school when he was born and that makes all the difference. He was fun to play with, and of course more happy to see me at age 2 than my siblings who were within a year of age to me. I see that in Emma now. She runs to the door hugging and kissing her Andy, Gerard, Sarah and Merina when they return home from school.Robbie was born pretty bald like most of my birthed in siblings. The adopted ones all had dark hair. Robbie grew in the brightest head of redhair and with his big grin and freckley face he quickly resembled Opie Taylor of The Andy Griffith Show.
As my little children (12 and under) have grown I've been reminded of Robbie's childhood several times. Emma is redhaired and destined to be freckley some day. One morning she came to me in her blue footy pajamas and said Mama, I wet. As I changed her out of her soaked diaper and wet pajamas and put her into the shower I was flashed back to when I was a teen and Robbie was a wee toddler.All the children's rooms were upstairs, like in this old house we live in here. Robbie's room was down the hall from me, but Mom was way down the steep stairway, or so it seemed when we were small.
On the occasion when 2-3 year old Robbie would wet the bed, he'd shed his footed pajamas and soaked underclothing on the bathroom floor and make a speedy, dark, dash down the hall to my room. I slept on the bottom bunk of our bunkbeds shared by my sister and I, and I could reach the bottom drawer of my dresser without much stretching. When Robbie woke me up I'd reach over, grab an old Tshirt out of my bottom drawer and pop it over his head for a makeshirt night shirt, tuck him into the bottom of my bed and go back to sleep.That's what I remembered as I was changing Emma one morning.
Robbie called me with news a few mornings ago. He told me he loves me and that he is being shipped to Iraq with the U.S. Army. Oh sure, he likes the Army life, and he's a good cook keeping both his culinary skills sharp and the army soldiers well-fed, but he's my baby brother. This is not what I envisioned as I encouraged him during culinary school. There's no safe place in Iraq. Even Army cooks have to drive along those roads with those roadside bombs. Even Iraqi children fall prey to the sadistic terror of their countrymen gone wrong. War is Hell.I do not want my baby brother in Hell. I want him exchanging recipes for things we wish we made more regularly, and trying new techniques for things we do repetetively.
I want Robbie kissing my children and milking my goats and coming with surprises for holidays and asking for my prayers about things with which he's struggling. God bless our Troops. May God bless my baby brother who I love so much.
I would appreciate it if when you read this that you would pause and say a heartfelt prayer and ask God to please watch over Robert Brown, the freckle faced boy from Kent, Washington who really wants to make a difference in this world. And maybe one for his mother and his sister who cry over him and want him safe and home.I'll be praying for our president and other leaders who need to fix this situation and get the U.S. Army out of Iraq. Nevertheless, not my will, but God's be done. KelliSue Brown Kolz
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