Friday, April 13, 2007
It is so easy for us to get caught up in our own lives and tune out the problems in the rest of the world. I admit, I frequently do it myself. But occasionally an event half a world away can come crashing down around our ears. This is what happened to me when my brother-in-law, Tracy, was shipped off to Iraq. He is currently serving in Bagdad. I don't know what he is doing. I don't think he is fighting. Originally he was training Iraqi troops in northern Iraq (Kurdish territory, which is relatively safe), but since he was moved to Bagdad I don't know any details. He has sporadic email access but is not allowed to send any specific details in case the enemy intercepts his correspondence. We know he is alive and in Bagdad, that's it. My sister, Lisa, has been a pillar of strength since he left last September. She has kept to her routine as much as possible for the sake of their three small kids. TJ, almost 8, has had the most difficult time missing his dad. But honestly it has been difficult for all of them, how could it not be? I asked Lisa how she does it; I would be a disaster! She said she doesn't watch the news and she prays a lot! What else can she do? Tracy started dating Lisa when I was five years old, so he has been a part of our family for most of my life. I can't imagine what any of us would do if something happened to him. So, I have followed Lisa's example and stopped watching the news. However, when I do happen to hear an Iraq update on NPR, my heart stops. I have to remind myself that I would get a phone call from someone in the family if Tracy were hurt or worse. For now, no news is good news.