It's time to move on to other things. I'm certainly ready. A couple of days needed to go by before I felt right again and by now I don't think much about what happened at the bookstore. I'm reluctant to go into the city on my own again, but I'm sure this trepidation will pass in no time.
I admit that it's surprising how long it took me to move past it. Usually, I spring right back from setbacks, but this one knocked me for a loop. But what's done is done. It helped me to realize that nothing that I or the kids had done had merited his attack. Had we been dancing around him chanting "Evermore, Evermore" we still wouldn't have deserved such intense abuse. My friend said he was a bully and a coward and I think that sums it up very nicely. No one else would go after a woman out alone with her small children. He certainly wouldn't have said those things if my husband or brother had been there (at least not if he had any sense of self-preservation at all).
Speaking of my brother, and moving on to more joyous subjects, he and his unit are back from Iraq! They arrived last Thursday just before the holiday weekend. The armory is about half a mile from my house so I walked there with the kids, pushing the stroller with Henry and a six pack of beer--for Pete. I left early because I didn't know for sure how long it would take us to walk there and by the time we got there I found that I had left pleeeeeennnty early to meet the buses. Still, there were many families there as well as what appeared to be a group or two of volunteers who came to help greet the soldiers. They had everything decorated with flags and music was being piped over some speakers. We waited and waited. My parents arrived so the kids and I waited with them. Finally, the buses pulled up and my brother was one of the first ones off. I didn't think I would be able to tell him apart from the others since, well, they all dress alike, but I could pick him out right away.
We walked over to where they were standing in formation and a general, then the commanding officer, then someone else all took turns saying "Have a nice weekend, relax with your families" before they were dismissed. I was the first one to get to him and gave him a big hug, but he wouldn't rest until he met up with his wife (Really, I can't understand this. Isn't a sister just as good as a pretty wife? ;) ). After we all caught up we just stood around smiling at each other. I have a really nice picture of Pete and his wife, but I haven't asked their permission to post it, so you'll have to do without.
I haven't seen him since because all he wants to do is sleep in his own bed, shower with the door closed, and drink beer (no beer in the desert apparently). He's supposed to call when he's ready for company so I'm guessing he'll be calling around Thanksgiving. It's enough to know he's home and happy.
While we were waiting for the buses, a reporter for our county paper asked if I'd give a quote. I'm obliging, if nothing else, and gamely agreed. The question she asked was how I felt about my brother coming home. I wish I had a better answer than, duh, "Excited." I wonder what she would have said if I'd said, "I feel GREAT! Now that jerk can pay me back that money he owes. I've been waiting to squeeze it out of him ALL YEAR!"