Lots of changes are going on in the McMillen world again. My brother, who is living with my Aunt and Uncle, has decided to move back to California with Dad....next week. Here's kind of how it was supposed to be...

My brother was bounced around from house to house this past year when Mom first left; then my aunt and uncle decided they wanted to take Tanner in. We were all so blessed by them doing this and he had a 'family' again. He was doing great! Well, after his girlfriend moved back east, and he decided he didn't want to have any communication with Mom, the idea of him moving back to CA with Dad was definitely in his mind. But he decided he was going to wait till after Christmas so he could play in the band (he's a percussionist in his high school band and on the drum line) and get a few more classes out of the way. And by him doing this, it gave Dad a few more months to figure out what to do financially and to try to find a place for him to buy or rent. As of right now, my Dad is living with his Mom; he moved in with her when my Grandpa passed away this past April. Anyways, we're not sure what has transpired in Tanner's heart, but he is very ready to move back to California. When he sat my aunt and uncle down to talk to them about his decision, he said that he realized how much he missed Dad and he wanted to live with him again. He also said that he felt that he was just wasting his time at school and was very ready to get his GED studies done, go to college, and move on with life. The part that made my heart drop to my stomach was when he said how none of his friends understood and they started shunning him from the band. He told Dad, "all my friends go home to their families, but I don't. I don't have a family to go home to, and I miss that. They don't understand what it's like." Oh man. I had to try so hard to hold back the tears when I heard this.
You see...my brother keeps everything in. He doesn't like to talk about what's going in his heart or mind, and he keeps all his anger and frustrations bottled up. So most the time it's so hard to gauge where he's at mentally with the divorce. So for him to come out and say why he's ready to move and how hard it is to not have a family...you know he's serious and you know that he's been thinking about it for a long time.

I'm sad. I will miss my brother very much. Although I don't see him everyday or talk to him everyday, he's the only brother I have and we're the only two that know what's gone on and how much we've been hurt. We've held each other as we cried, stood up for each other in battle, and have grown in our relationship more than I could ever have imagined. I love my brother so much and am so so very proud of the man he's becoming. He even told Dad that he's ready to get back into church and meet some solid dudes. This is an answer to prayer! So...as much as I hate change...I know this is the best thing for him.

Today was his last performance with his marching band. Here are a couple pictures of him before they went out on the field...

Tanner is the one with his drum sticks in the middle (left). And he's the middle one in the picture below. I'll put more up of him and us before he leaves! 

Thursday Dad flies in on a one way flight, him and Tan are going to pack up the truck with Tan's clothes and whatnot, and leave Saturday morning for CA. I won't see them till Thanksgiving...and well...this is just weird. Never in my 21 years of living or in my wildest dreams would I ever have thought that my family dynamics would change so much. But God knows what He's doing and I'll continue to take comfort in that :)

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