So, the large one was home for a week. He got to spend leave time with the bulk of the family doing all kinds of fun family things and just generally relaxing. His way of relaxing when he is here is to pour cement, clean chimneys, cut, split, and load wood into the basement, cut weeds in the garden, move countless wheelbarrow loads of stuff, and eat lots of food.
Through all of that we talked, laughed, hugged (a lot), and generally acted as if he had never been gone. Now, though my heart breaks to have him away again, I'm a mother what can I say, it is also bursting with pride. He's the man I always dreamed he would be and more. My heart and mind are packed full of memories of him with his brothers, father, sister, nephew and niece. Every corner of this place once again rings with the sounds of his voice singing and laughing.