January 9, 2016 by Fensic
Mih heart start sinkin. All de graduates done march parse an I eh see him. He wasn’t wid dem. How ah miss him? All de years me an he mudder live in de same house, overseein raisin he an he brudder, from babies tuh teenagers tuh young men an now I eh see him? Widout sayin ah word, ah turn tuh he brudder. He look at mih, shrug he shoulders an shake he head from side tuh side. De two ah dem was close in more ways dan one. Except fuh real fightin, dey had typical interactions brudders does have. De two ah dem did know one anudder so good an he eh see him eidder? Each ah we miss him? Ah could feel mih own disappointment growin.
De marchers was turnin arong? Dey was goin an head back parse de stands packed wid parents an friends? Ah was goin an get ah next chance tuh scan dem faces under dem garrison hats. Faces dat in not displayin emotion, said how focused dey owners was. Dat impeccable marchin. Hundreds ah new airmen each liftin dey left foot, puttin it dong den raisin dey right foot an puttin dat dong. It was like all left feet was only one left foot an all right feet was only one right foot. I did notice it earlier when udder marchers was warmin up de crowd.
“Look good, we cyar miss him again,” ah tell he brudder as de state flag-carriers wheeled arong an start marchin back. Behind dem was de flights, what de various groups was called. Ah couldn’t wait tuh scan dey faces again. As soon as dem flag carriers parse.
“Unless he in front carryin one ah dem flags,” ah add.
Where dat reasonin come from? Up tuh know I eh know.
“Ah see him dad! Ah see him,” excitement filled he brudder voice. Mih heart skip ah beat.
“Where? Where,” ah shout.
“Second row. Second row. He carryin one ah de flags.”
Ah didn’t know mih eyes could scan dat fast.
Yes! Dey he was! No emotion orn he face like he was grittin he teet tuh stay focused. Hat was low almost coverin he eyes. He had ah different aura. He was already ah man before he decide tuh join de air force buh de son I was watchin gettin swallowed up slow by de udders behind him was ah different man. Maybe ah shouldn’t try an analyze it. Maybe ah should just do like millions of udder parents does do when dey too have moments of overwhelmin pride an indelible awe. Maybe ah should but ah cyar do it. Besides, I eh want tuh do dat.
Is dis how dey does feel? Dey does fight cryin too?
De flag bearers keep marchin straight while de udder new airmen make ah 90 degree turn onto de grass comin tuh ah stop, still in dey individual flights waitin tuh get dismissed. I eh had no time wid dem doh, I watchin de flag bearers. De parade was close tuh finishin. De commentator voice come over de intercom: Eef yuh airman carryin ah flag, go tuh de left tuh greet he or she. Eef all you have is ah regular airman in one ah dem flights, meet dem orn de right side.
“Move out de way people, I have tuh go tuh de left!”
Behind mih, he brudder was doin he best tuh keep up wid mih as ah start cuttin across people left an right. Yuh cyar move too farse in dem bleachers doh. Yuh foot slip between any one ah dem rows ah metal seats an it damage oui.
We finally reach dong tuh de grongs. People scurryin all over de place, udders wid big smiles greetin airmen wearing neat blue dress uniforms an black dress shoes yuh could see uh face in.
Ah see him. Technically dat not ah lie. Is just dat was he brudder, still tryin tuh keep up, who see him first.
His ramrod straight back was tuh mih as he tork wid udders dressed like he. He was taller dan all ah dem.
De distance between we close quick.
How tuh express dis pride an awe dat wasn’t close tuh peakin? Hug him? Tap him orn he shoulder? Call he name? Walk arong in front ah him an shake he hand?
Right dis minute is early morning, ah cyar sleep. It still dark outside. Dem moments from yesterday startin tuh blur so I eh remember how ah get he attention. Ah know ah shake he hand. Dat is what yuh do when yuh eh have words tuh express yuh pride. I doh remember shakin he hand before. He hug back tight when ah hug him. While yuh does do both ah dem longer when is yuh son, yuh does cry early in de mornin when yuh recall dat moment.
Every time ah hear mih name call ah turn arong. Each time it was ah new airman callin mih son, not me. Nobody did care about my ole arse, except him. He introduce mih an he brudder to each one of dem airman.
I was in awe when he give we a tour of de dormitory, dey home while dey was trainees. I see he bunk made up accordin to the rules, like all de udder bunks. Ah reach fuh mih cell phone. He showed we how his shoes had to line up under de bunk. He open up his locker. Ah see all he different kind ah his uniforms. More pictures. He had been de dorm leader charged wid makin sure de udders in he flight followed de rules. The drill instructors . . . oops, the military trainin instructors, had picked him. He lorse de job when he broke ah rule.
When yuh in de public eye yuh liable tuh be ah idol. Why, me eh know. Not when yuh could carefully manage yuh public persona so only what yuh want people tuh know about yuh dey go know.
I follow mih son arong yesterday stealin glances when ah tort he wasn’t lookin. Dis new airman in de United States Air Force not no public figure. He is ah idol doh. My idol. I was an unabashed puppy dorg lettin him lead while I soak it all in. I cyar count how many times ah had tuh shake he hand.
Too bad dey have tuh be back on base by 8.00 P:M. I cyar get enough ah walkin next tuh him as all ah we go dong de road. He in ah next cool uniform.
My idol. De man I have overwhelmin pride an indelible awe over he accomplishments. Even he brudder tork about de pride he had seein dem accomplishments. Me an he brudder go be back in we homes before he start ah next week ah special classroom trainin. When dat done he jumpin orn ah plane headin tuh Air Traffic Controller school. Den he orf tuh ah air force base someplace in de world.
Keep soarin son. My pride soarin wid you.
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