Donaldo had a bit of an emergency yesterday. Ended up in the hospital. Loss of balance, slurring of speech, tingling in the extremities and face. Sounded like a mini-stroke to me, but after a barrage of tests and scans, the physicians detected nothing. Donaldo recovered quickly and was well enough to be released that afternoon.
My mother had called me, panicked. I felt concern, but nothing like I might have expected. I remember thinking that a stroke could very well kill him; I understood the gravity of the situation. Having lost one brother already, I didn't think I would be this calm.
I think it's because we're both soldiers. We have both signed up to risk our lives for whatever reason before. The decision has already been made. The military is not the rest of life, of course; the rest of life lacks formality. Life just assumes that every participant has signed on for all the risks and rewards; after all, they showed up for it.
The last text I had received from him was while the family group was discussing Christmas plans. "As long as we're all together," he wrote. I despaired for a moment when I read that. The possibility of losing another brother yawned like an abyss before me. I stepped back, though. There will be grief, and suffering, when it is time for it. But not yet.