Saturday, 11 October 2008

Now, About the Camel

My camel from Iraq

I wasn't the only one writing Mark at this time. Years ago, his younger sister had given him as stuffed animal, Mr.Bunnie. One day, when I was helping Mark pack up his apartment for his deployment, I noticed Mr.Bunnie and that his head was almost coming off. So I offered to repair him. Mark jumped at the suggestion.
A few days later, I called Mark and told him Mr.Bunnie was better. He hurried to my home. It was so cute....watching this 6ft 4in gentle gaint hugging his Bunnie.
Well, I couldn't picture Mr. Bunnie alone (along with the Tazmaine Devil) being locked up in that cold apartment for a year, so they came home with me.
So, Mr.bunnie, Taz and I would write Mark weekly. And they backed me up with the Camel.
Except, we wanted a live Camel.
But Mark said his CO would have a problem with that.
But it was a wonderful two weeks.
First, I was very shocked--but pleased--there were only two days that I did not see Mark. He wanted to be with me. One or two days, yes. But I thought he would wish to hang out with other friends and family, even meet with Rabbi.
But, it was me he wished to be with.
As always, we had a great time, just hanging out, going to visit my mum, going to services, etc.
But there was something else. Mark didn't look good. I thought it was just he was tired from war and he needed some good food and rest.
One evening, after spending an afternoon out, he had supper at my apartment. Mark would wash the dishes. But this time, he asked if he could just lay down on my sofa, he was really tired.
No problem. He was here to rest, not to work. Soon, I could hear him sleep on my sofa.
There he laid, curled upon the sofa, holding Mr.Bunnie. And yes, I took a picture. But I also notice how much he was sweating. It was a warm Spring, but not that warm.
But, I had accidently dropped a pan and he did not wake up! The phone rang twice, he did not wake up!
But when there was a knock on my front door, Mark was upon his feet, standing gurad at the door. He wasn't home, but in Iraq. I had to assure him that I knew who was at the door and everything was fine. He did not move the whole time I was at the door with the teen-age boy who came to return a pan his grandmother had borrowed.
It wasn't until I said he looked like: "Halt! or I will shoot you with my Bunnie." that we both laughed.
But flash backs are real, and I realize that to expect him to leave a warzone and then step back into his life like nothing has changed is wrong. I also realize that with me, he felt safe.
A few nights later, we were invited to Shabbath supper. Plus since the day before was his birthday, they had a birthday cake for dessert. We had fun that evening and the family prayed for Mark before he left. Little Elanna, my name sake, prayed "Father bring Mr. Mark home sooner!" The prayers of a child.
Little Elanna plays a role in this story as well.
The next day, we were planning to have supper with our friends Paul and Sarah. But unbeknowest to Mark, this was also a surprise birthday party for Mark as well. It was also bitter-sweet; for this would be Mark's last evening home before he returns to Iraq.
I had asked Mark what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday. He said a triple layed German Chocolate cake. My eyes widen.
"Do you know what your asking for?"
"Yes! That's what I want."
OK. I have never denied Mark anything and if he wanted a triple layed German Chocolate Cake, that is what I will make...
Mark wanted to tell this story and it is in an earlier entry....

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