Amie and I had turned our attention south from the far reaches of Northern Maine toward warmer climes and a few miles closer to home. We were headed down I-95 to Brunswick where Rebecca and Josh have recently set up residence. Amie and Rebecca are cousins and have known each other virtually their entire lives. I first met Rebecca and Josh at their beautiful wedding in January of 2006. Over the past several years, Amie and I have been able to catch up and visit with Rebecca but have not had the good fortune to spend a single moment with Josh.
Rebecca has that completely natural friendly demeanor that doesn't require anytime to be placed at ease. When Amie is doing her best to spend as much quality time with as many relatives as possible at a family event, Rebecca is that hoped-for cousin that I can easily enjoy passing the time in genuine conversation. Through Rebecca I have gotten to know Josh discovering that we share quite a few affections for our home theater, tv shows, pro football, and the "man room" that we both are constantly working on in our respective homes. Josh is just the sort that most guys would want as a friend. He's the guy that I would be throwing a few beers back with at these Mallett family outings. I would not have to provide details or alter my video-audiophile vocabulary because Josh already knows what I am talking about. But its been almost 3 years since Amie and I have seen Josh.
Captain Josh Jacques has been serving our country in Kuwait and Iraq all this time. For all of their marriage, Josh has been deployed into combat zones while Rebecca have lived in her hometown awaiting his safe return. There have been times when Amie and I have been apart for work or visiting relatives but never for too long. I could not imagine a life separate from Amie. Josh and Rebecca's time apart is almost incomprehensible to me, but then I realize that many of our service men and women sacrifice as much for our country. As we were having lunch at that cozy tavern in downtown Brunswick, I was warmed to see Josh and Rebecca sitting together across the table from us -- "like two peas in a pod". We talked of families, friends, our hometowns, sports, and the roads that lie ahead for us. We make plans to watch the college basketbal tournament in the spring. With hugs and handshakes we say our goodbyes with the prayer that Josh and Rebecca will finally able to spend their lives with each other for a long, long time.
At the next Mallett family gathering, you'll be able find me off to the side with Josh having a cold beer waxing over the quality of our 1080p flatscreens with 7.1 DTS Surround Sound.