Band of Brothers disbanded by South Korean expedition

Band of Brothers disbanded by South Korean expedition

My brother and I traveled to Bermuda for a national insurance conference. Before deciding to leap from his comfort zone, Trey worked for an Insurance Agency.

Jesse Sparks, Voice Editor

The Lesson

Loss, a simple, little four letter word, has touched everyone’s life in one way or another, whether it be the loss of a loved one, the end of a friendship, or the end of a relationship.

No one is exempt. This lesson took me years to learn.

The Lecture

I remember the words my brother spoke between choked back sobs years ago at the funeral of our great grandmother:

When you love something, you have to let it go.

Let. It. Go.

Those three little words were so difficult to grasp for a little boy who vainly spent the rest of the funeral and the weeks that followed grasping tightly onto the slowly fading memories of lazy, summer days with his great-grandmother. Unfortunately, I was left with fists clenched as those memories slipped through my eight-year-old fingers.

Years passed as I forced that painful lesson to the back of my mind, only to have it resurface.

The Review

Looking out of the window at the gray clouds that blanketed the shut-down city, with its holiday decorations aglow, I was content. My family was together, but more importantly my family was safe. There was no drama, no strife, no worries. For a moment my hectic life seemed to pause.

With unwrapped Christmas presents in his hands and wrapping paper at his feet, my brother made an announcement which brought me back to that awful cliché.

He announced that he would be moving to South Korea to be an English teacher and missionary.

I was stunned and confused at what my brother had said.

“South Korea. I’ve quit my job and I’m happy. Yep, I’m working on getting placed into a school right now. I’ve already passed my certification exams and I’ve started learning Korean! I’m really excited, but this will probably be the last Christmas we have together for a while…”

I could not help but think “South Korea is so far away! Why not somewhere closer, like Nebraska? Nebraska’s close and he could be an English teacher there! Why would he choose a place on the other side of the planet?”

My thoughts did not stop there.

I was overwhelmed by memories of my brother and I, memories of friends growing up side-by-side. I remembered my brother as the boy who taught me how to take a punch and make farting noises with my mouth and taught me to go after my dreams.

Growing up, my brother and sister were my best friends. We were always together because we were in a family that moved ten times in 17 years. I remembered looking up to him with the kind of admiration only a little brother could muster. He was my hero.

All of this rushed into my head the second he revealed his plans.

The Test

Sometimes when you love something, you have to let it go. I hated those words because they were cliché, unhelpful burdens placed upon a grieving soul.

But looking back on it, i think my brother also felt burdened with the worsening condition of his career path. My brother graduated in the 2011 class of Fightin’ Texas Aggies as a Business Finance Major and an interest in international business. After graduation he found a job working as a financial analyst for a chain company which required him to leave home at 5:30 A.M. just to get to work on time. He hated the job. He hated the commute through hours of traffic. He hated the tireless hours of boring work. I knew that he hated it, so why did I want him to stay?

It was not fair of me to ask that of him. It was not fair of me to ask that he stay miserable just so that we could hang and play football together. I knew that, and as much as I did not like it, I figured that this had been a difficult choice for him to make. The least I could do was give him my support, the same way he gave me his all of those years growing up.

After wrestling with this situation for weeks, I came to the conclusion that I would rather be sad and disgustingly nostalgic for a little while if it meant that my brother could be truly happy and live out his dream.

The Results

With the time between now and his departure lessening, I feel more at peace with the whole thing, and although it will majorly suck for a while I am happy because I know he will be happy.

Although it took me years to realize it, that painful little cliché is true for everyone, not just me. People lose the one’s they love daily, the relationships they cherish and the dreams that they once held dear. Just as I have, others have learned this painful lesson: when you love something, you have to let it go, no matter how long or how much it hurts.