My birthday is November 1, and I got the only thing that I wanted for my birthday -- a phone call from Shane. Shane rarely called his family when he was deployed. It was very difficult to not be able to hear his voice all the time, but that was how he wanted it. He said that calling and talking was just too difficult for him and we respected that, even though it hurt immensely. But I was able to hear the sound of his voice just five days before he was killed.
I don't really remember what we talked about because I was just so excited to be hearing Shane's voice on the other end of the phone. He sounded so old on the phone and definitely not like my "baby" brother anymore. But I do remember the end of our conversation.
"Well, Bethie, I gotta go, my time's up."
"Okay, Buddy. Thank you for calling it was the best present that I got!"
"Love you, Bethie."
"Love you too, Buddy! Stay safe!"
Not a day goes by that I don't think about Shane. But something I never have to think about are regrets with him. I always told him I loved him every single time we talked or texted or messaged. And he told me that he loved me, too. I always told Shane everything I was feeling, for better or for worse, and I think he did the same with me. That meant that sometimes we fought. But I think it also meant that we loved each other more because our love for each other was honest.
Would I like the chance to tell him that I loved him one more time? Of course. But I don't feel that I missed out on any opportunities to do so.
I think it all goes back to when we were kids. Our parents would never let us go to bed angry with one another, because you never knew what could happen before the morning came. While it would be five more mornings before Shane was killed from the last time we spoke, I like to think that our love for one another lasted those 5 more mornings, and will have to continue to last me for the rest of my life.