Where have the years gone....

Today is a bittersweet day for my family. My nephew, Jake, leaves for Parris Island. He is becoming one of the few, the proud...a United States Marine. As we proudly let him go, there is a part of us that wants to cling to him and keep him safely home. But we must let him grow up and lead his own life. I can't help but reflect over the years to the little boy he was and the wonderful young man he has become.

He was an adorable baby and very much loved by his big sissy, Tara. He was always laughing and happy.
He loved his Papaw Luke and was always tagging along with him. I remember in his pre-school days, he was always cutting up and you never knew when he opened his mouth what was going to come out. When I would go in for a visit, I would go out to my brother's house and take the kids and go pick up Gino's Pizza. One time when Jake was about four years old, we ran into the local pharmacy that was beside Gino's to pick up some Pepsi and M & M's. There was a young man in front of me with one of those suitcase size packs of beer. Jake kept staring at it and looking up at the man then back down to the beer. He turned to me, his little lips parted, and I thought "Oh no." Sure enough, in his not so quiet voice, I heard "Boy, he must be planning on drinking a lot of beer." I wanted the floor to open up and swallow me. But I couldn't help but laugh under my breath.

He's always been such a vital part of the family. He is a loving cousin.
An awesome big brother and role model for his little brother Coy and his nephew Acey.
He is an avid fisherman and hunter. And has a deep respect for God & Country.
He is looking forward to his career as a United States Marine and has spend the last few months preparing for his journey.
My brother is very proud of his son, but is also dreading the trip to the bus station this morning that will take his baby boy farther away from home than he has ever been. But it is what Jake wants and we are very proud of him and very thankful for the journey he is taking that will truly show his love for his God, his country, his family and his friends.


Rachel said...

What a beautiful tribute to Jake! May God keep him safe and protected! The picture of him and Emmy and him and papaw are so good! Seems like only yesterday! I can remember both times so well. Where have the years went! They go by so fast!


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