You say regrets are weakness. I have regrets, but I am not weak. One of my regrets is drifting away from you. When you were a kid, relating to you, spending time with you was simple. As you grew and life became more complicated for me, I didn’t know how to spend time with you, or even talk to you. I guess I stopped trying. We are no longer close and it is my fault. I regret that.
You say smiling is weakness. I disagree. Although I don’t agree with or understand your reasons for enlisting, I am proud of you. I am proud because it is what you wanted to do and you did it. You didn’t let naysayers deter you from following the path you wanted to take. This is why you are strong. I hope that you find contentment and, dare I say, happiness. I hope you find reasons to smile. And most of all, I hope that you find that smiling is not a sign of weakness. It is simply a sign that you have things in your life of value and you recognize them.
You say not to look back at the past, Surprise! I disagree! Ma was right (as she generally is) when she told you that the past makes us who we are. It isn’t something to be forgotten or ignored. We are who we are because of our experiences. We can learn from it, grow from it. The past can also teach us, and our past has taught me about the person I want to be, mistakes I never want to make, and relationships I want to have. Don’t forget or ignore – learn.
So, we disagree, you and me, on many ideas. That is a fact. It is also a fact that we are family. I am your socially awkward, stubborn, liberal, bossy older sister. You are my stubborn, persistent brother. You are in the Army. While I hope you write, I’m not counting on it. But, know that you can count on me. I will be here. Regardless of what you do, say, or think – you are my “little” brother. I don’t have to agree to be proud, or to be a friend. I am proud of you and I love you.