There are so many great things about being a military wife, but there are also so many difficult moments that we endure. For me the worst has been watching my children ache for their daddy when he has been gone. My seven-year-old is a daddy's girl. She always has been. Mom is okay, but dad is amazing. Six months ago when she said goodbye as he was getting ready to leave, I was heartbroken for her. This would be her second deployment.
During the first, when he left for Afghanistan, she was only two. And yet, as young as she was, I could see the void take a toll on her. The temper tantrums started. She became a different person. She couldn't express with her words what she was feeling, but I could see with my own eyes the effect his absence was having on her. When he returned, she had just turned three. She was very shy, but within fifteen minutes, the shyness was gone and she was glued to him. She would not let him out of her sight. If she could just hold on to him, it would keep him from leaving again.
When my husband told me earlier this year that he was going to be sent to Japan for six months my heart sank. I was thankful it was not Afghanistan, but I dreaded having to tell my daughter that her daddy would be leaving yet again. It have tried my best to distract her while he has been gone, but nothing can replace her dad in her eyes. Some days I would just find her silently crying in her room. What could I do but kiss her and hold her and try to be strong for her? Yet, inside, I was crying for her and for her little sister. Even though my 20-month-old is too young to understand, in her own way, I have seen how her daddy's absence has impacted her.
There are thousands of families across this great nation of ours who have gone through these same experiences. There are thousands of little girls missing their daddies. There are some that will never see their daddies again. Today I am more thankful than ever to my God for all those who sacrifice so much. And I am grateful that for us those tears are gone. Today we celebrated. Daddy is home.
Nothing but love in their eyes. He is reunited with his princess.
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