Today’s prompt for NaBloPoMo was “if you could eliminate one worry…” off the top of my head, I thought, “money.” Which is 100% true. If I (we) didn’t have to worry about car/student loan/ credit card payments, the day to day stuff would be a breeze. I feel like this is an extension of the “What would you do if you won the lottery?” question that I answered for Blogtober.
Today is Veteran’s Day, which always gets me to thinking. As does New Year’s Eve, March 4, and June 30. And many, many other random days in between. So indulge me a little bit on what is sure to be just rambling and stories…
Jacob was my best friend’s little brother. They were barely two years apart and very close. As such, when Jacob was all of 16 years old he started hanging out with us (my best friend and our other two best friends) on a regular basis.
When I was living with his sister and our two friends, and prior to him joining the Army, he was a rather debaucherous soul. One night he was getting ready to leave our apartment. My friends had all gone out, and I was at home studying Accounting. He said “Dorrie I’ll be right back,” and I replied “Okay don’t do anything stupid.” And he left. He came back 15 minutes later with a bloody, scraped up knee and a broken cell phone. As he walked through the door, half laughing, he says, “Dorrie I think I did something stupid.” I cussed him, and got him into my bathroom where I cleaned up his knee and bandaged it. He made me promise not to tell his sister. I said fine, but if anything happened again, I’d kick his ass. He stayed up and played video games and probably drank a little; I went to bed. I woke up hours later to his sister screeching at him in octaves I didn’t even know she could reach. She was just getting home and he decided to her what happened. That was literally the end of his debauchery.
I was always the responsible one of our group, working and making sure my homework was dealt with before going out. Consequently, I always made sure Jake’s homework was done before he went out to play as well- most weekends he would crash on our couch. I attended his high school graduation. And the summer that he turned 18, he all but lived with us in between basic training and other Army things.
One time I came home to find a keg in the middle of my kitchen- how he managed it we’ll never know, as we were all under 21. Another time, he walked through our door at 4am with a college traffic cone that he placed outside one of the empty rooms of the four-bedroom apartment, and went inside to pass out. When he came out the next morning/afternoon he stumbled over it and couldn’t figure out where it came from. For his graduation present from his aunt, they went to Paris. Jacob came home with gifts for all of us- for me that meant shot glasses. Aside from the normal tourist shot glass, I was the proud owner of a set of double shot glasses from the Suite Hotel in Paris.
Throughout his military career, Jake bought me shot glasses, one time mentioning that when he got back from where ever, we had to go through them. He couldn’t remember all of the places he’d been, but he had gotten me shot glasses of all. Including Iraq and Afghanistan.
The last summer that he was home, he bought a Dodge Charger. I came through the door one evening after work. His sister was on the couch sleeping (she could sleep through ANYTHING), and his aunt who was visiting, was sleeping in his sister’s room. He was at the end of the couch rubbing his nose (he was allergic to my cats) and playing with his sister’s dog. I asked him what he was doing and he responded that he was waiting for everyone to wake up to go out to eat. I told him that I’d go with him, and called Scott to meet us at the restaurant. The way there I gave him all kinds of hell about hopping curbs and generally not being able to drive. He asked me if “I was gonna marry this one, he liked him.” I said that we would see. A couple months later, he helped me finish up packing to move to Florida with Scott.
Jake died on March 4, 2012 in a freak accident while being stationed at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.
The saddest, hardest, and most painful thing that I have ever had to do in my life, and probably will ever have to do, was to attend a military funeral for 22 year-old Sgt. Jacob Matthew Honeycutt. The days leading up to the funeral and burial were a blur. I can’t clearly hear Taps being played or the 21 gun salute. I can kind of remember Jake’s little brother being handed his American flag. The image of 4 crying girls sitting around his grave, with 5 or 6 of America’s finest standing behind us must have been quite a sight. One said, “Deuces Honeycutt,” and we all went our separate ways.
*At his funeral, when I was talking about the shot glasses, his commanding officer stopped and said, “oh you’re the one he got them for…” Apparently they had taken notice of this.
**When he bought this gun, he brought it over to my house to show me. This was as I was getting ready to move to Florida. I told him that he “didn’t need a damn gun, he was gonna wind up shooting himself.” When all his went down the first thing I thought of was him telling me he “did something stupid.”