Once upon a time, in the year 2002, on Christmas Day, Bethany struck up an online friendship with this guy in the Air Force. It concerned me a little, that my little girl was talking with this Air Force man, but I knew he was in Florida…..far away.
Then he began to send pictures….
And I thought, “Well…this is ok. And he’s kinda cute.” And he was just a kid….nothing scary.
Some of the pictures concerned me a little, but still…. it was ok. After all, we’d probably never actually see the guy.
I’m not really sure what concerned me more….the grin, or the fact that a guy had purple beads on his lamp.
We learned his father worked for Focus on the Family, so we thought he couldn’t be too bad. After all, it would be easy enough to email Focus and see if they really had an employee by that name. We were regulars on the Focus mailing list. So in May of 2003, we invited him to come for a visit, for her birthday. He tried to tell me he was really a 42 year old serial killer. I wasn’t too worried….we have guns and I’m a darn good shot.
He couldn’t make it that weekend, but on Memorial Day weekend, he asked if he could still come…..that day. And our house was a mess. I thought, “Oooohhhh, not this weekend. I need to clean.” But he said that he was sure our house wasn’t any messier than his mom’s house. He rarely knows what he’s talking about. So I said it was ok. I thought I had probably 10 hours to clean. How was I to know that the trip from Eglin AFB in Fort Walton, Florida to Deer Park, Texas could be made in 8 hours? It can….if you fly the “Red Rocket.”
(Beth has pics of the Red Rocket, his car. Maybe we can scan them in here.)
He had to call for directions on the way, but he got here safely. I figured he was pretty tired, because his tires were hitting the curb when he pulled up. He denies it, though. (He’s denied a few things over the years…like who started the arguments…)
He must have been tired….or we just bored the poor guy to death. He did this a lot.
Note in the 2nd picture….Brandon making bunny ears. You have to be brave to fall asleep at our house!
He came back in June of 2003 for Bethany’s graduation party. He braved unbelievably dangerous conditons to be here. What else would you expect a bomb tech to do? (Can you see that little mosquito bite? They apparently didn’t have mosquitoes in Florida, because he sure whined like he’d never been bitten before. )
And he had a rousing good time (this is Party Ethan… Ok..maybe not…)
He came back one more time July 16, 2003, before leaving for 2 years in Italy. Beth made him a birthday present…an Air Force memory album….
…which included pictures of his adventures at our house.
Well, it didn’t include all of them. We didn’t get pictures of the candle spitting contest or the silly string on the ceiling fan. I wasn’t here when those things occurred,and I’m not really sure if I should thank God I wasn’t, or not.
Brandon told him he looked stoned in his official Air Force picture, and this was the reaction:
Apparently, when he went to Italy, he began to build incredible strength….
While stationed in Italy,he went to war, in the summer of 2004.
There were times we were so proud…..
And we had a party that night, and people wouldn’t go home. He got tired again.
Being tired makes you do strange things.
And there was an inside joke about Didn’t take long for the joke to get out. Beth says it was his fault.
He soon had to go back to Italy, carrying a purse
And he learned to climb mountains and play “I’m a Little Teapot”….
He went back to war again in 2006, and it apparently makes you do strange things with Gold Bond powder that people in Texas send to the sandbox
And, bless his heart, he can’t sing Amazing Grace to save his life….
Isn’t Brandon a good photographer? Or maybe it was Photoshop….or something….
And since you already know we swiped these….
No…not a tough guy. Just a good guy
A lot of life has happened between all these pictures, but we want you to know you are loved still, and your safety and happiness are prayed for…always. Happy birthday, Sweetie.