Today, instead of being with us, you are thousands of miles away.
It’s not your fault, and we don’t hold it against you. We always knew this life wouldn’t be easy, but no matter what we are still a family, and nothing; not time, distance, or the United States Navy can ever take that away from us. We may celebrate a lot of holidays via technology, or a couple of days in advance of the actual date, but that doesn’t really matter to us anymore, does it? We’ve been doing this too long now to shed a tear over stuff like that. Does it mean we are numb to it? No, I don’t think so.
I think it just means we’ve learned to truly cherish the time we do have together. Any time is good time, right? Dates on a calendar…well, they have their meaning. But the days I truly care about are the ones when I hear your keys opening the front door. Those are the days that I really pine for.
I write a lot about motherhood, but today, I want to write about you. Not just because it is the day in which millions of people celebrate the people in their life named Dad, Daddy, Poppa…but because your sacrifice deserves to be written about.
I see it in your eyes, before you have to leave us. It’s a mix of disappointment for having to leave once again, and a determination to come back to us safely. Never do you complain about having to go, we both know that wouldn’t change a thing; but I know you dream of a day where you never have to say goodbye again.
I know this because I dream of it too.
I know it hurts you when she cries after we Skype. Or when she asks, “Where’s papa?” and I have to tell her your’e “at work”. Without fully comprehending it, she is just now learning what goodbye means. She doesn’t know how you talk to her from my phone or laptop, she just knows that her Daddy is inside that box. Don’t be sad when this happens honey, she loves you. You are her Papa. Her hero.
Even through Skype you can make her smile so bright, showing us that mouth that is now full of teeth. She wants to play hide and go seek with you and makes you count down while she burrows under pillows, peeking her head up just enough to reveal those smiling eyes. And even though you can’t chase her, it’s your turn, “you count!”, she says.
Our youngest is still too small to know how important you are yet, but she will one day. Until then, she is just content learning the features of your face and smiling that gummy smile.
As for me, I have learned that I am not me without you. When you are gone, I am like superwoman they say, but really- I am just keeping my head above water till you return. Every day something happens that reminds me that though I can take care of the kids by myself, I don’t do it because I want to, I do it because I am called to. The kids need their father and I need my husband.
No matter where you lay your head tonight, know that you are with us, and we are with you. I love you more than words can describe, and I am so thankful that we get to share in this blessing called parenthood. Many years before we had our daughters, I knew you were the Father I wanted for them. I have always known you would be a great Dad and you prove it to us every single day. I know that without a doubt, you put us before you put yourself. I know there will be many more holidays like this to come, where you are “there” and we are “here”, but I also know that there will be many more days, moments, and memories that we will share together to make up for them.
Thank you my love, thank you for everything. Happy Father’s Day.
This post was adapted from the original post on A Navy Wife’s Life.
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