My brother is celebrating his twenty-fourth birthday in Iraq (or, rather, he celebrated it already, seeing as how it's now tomorrow over there). I sent him a cheesy Halloween card last week to let him know that his birthday package was coming. I just have to develop some film and send it off. I might hold off on that film and include that in his Christmas package, seeing as how I have to mail that by Nov 13 in order to make sure he gets it by Christmas. Better send off the Birthday gift now so he can get it by Turkey Day. Maybe. Included in the package will be some of his beloved Hot Tamales and an autographed copy of Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon, a very lovely lady I met this weekend. She signed it to him, using his rank, and indicated her own years of Corps service. Brad may not like the book (his reading tastes seem to vary frequently, when he even feels like reading), but I know he'll appreciate the sentiment. And we're also including a copy of "50 First Dates" that we found for a nice price at Costco. Turns out that Brad was able to buy one of those portable DVD players and bring it with him. That's a good Birthday package. I'll send that tomorrow on my lunch break.
As for his Christmas present, it just got a whole lot better. My company is putting together two care packages: one for Brad, and one for another employee's son. So now my mom and I need to put our heads together and come up with a good list of things that my coworkers can toss in there for him and his buddies. This makes me feel a little better after having missed his phone call last week. I do have his voice on my answering machine to replay and feel all those sisterly emotions when I need to, though. I'm going to lose it if some tech snafu gets rid of that one.