I received a call today from an Officer JT Freeze from the Arizona Highway Patrol. He's calling about my brother, wanting to ask questions, not for the purpose of finding him or his being in trouble, but because he's applied for, tested through, and has been accepted (tentatively) into the Arizona Department of Public Safety, and the answers I give will help determine if he'll be fully accepted. I had to fight against telling the officer that my brother use to run naked through laundry mats with gerbils taped to his thighs, or that he had an affinity for plywood, or some other wild story as a joke. This is a person who has been chasing the dream of being an officer for a little over 20 years, since being in his late teens, early 20's and it looks to be finally coming true for him.
Officer Freeze asked me a question about what advice I would give my brother when he gets this job. My response: "Just keep doing what you're doing". Officer Freeze told me that when he interviewed our sister, he asked her that question, and she gave almost the same exact answer, word for word. Plus she added "... and keep your head down" :)
I don't think that I've ever said this to him or my sister, but I'm proud of them, both. He has been chasing his dream after 20 years without wavering. He has made some detours along the way, but he's always had the vision of what he wanted to do. He's built himself up to a point that he went through the Coca-Cola company starting as a "Merchandiser" and worked his way up to a manager within the company coordinating drivers for the entire Phoenix area. He's ran businesses for some and owned businesses of his own, and all the while being a great father, being the father that our parents would be proud to have raising their grand babies. Now is his time to fulfill his dreams.
It goes the same for my sister, except in a slightly different way. To be completely honest, I don't remember what it was that she wanted to be when she grew up, but she's a loving mother and wife to her family. They get her all when she's awake, this is a woman who is extremely strong mentally, emotionally, and physically, me being 6'1" and 230lbs, I'm still afraid of her 5' nothing and maybe 120lbs sopping wet while holding bricks in both hands.
She has the tenacity to do pretty much anything or to become what ever it was that her heart desires, and she's done that by being a phenomenal mom and wife. Her daughters are all great people, who are also smarter than we were at their age, and when they make relatively stupid mistakes, she doesn't get truly mad, she just says to them "It's a good thing you're pretty" all the while being someone that our parents would beam about with pride.
Our parents are both gone and I know that there have been times when we had questions for them about being a parent, and not having them physically there, we have had to figure things out, but I think that our parents gave us the tools we needed to be the people that we are,and needed to be, which includes creating a strong cohesion within our family, no matter the distance between us or the length of time it's been since we've seen each other or have spoken on the phone. That is my family unit, it maybe small and at times it maybe broken, but it's mine and I'm proud to lay claim to it.
I'm Proud of my Brother for his unwavering focus to follow his dreams, and I'm proud of my sister for making the life choices that she wanted to make to raise their girls and to make their family stronger. We aren't rich by any stretch of the imagination, we're not world famous, what we are is liked by those who meet us, and loved by those who we let get to know us... I'm proud of us...