This week, my daddy celebrated his 54th birthday! Happy birthday, Dad! He has been so strong for me throughout all of this. There have been many times where I snuggled up on the couch next to him when I was feeling down and he was put his reassuring arms around me.
He has never been too keen on the idea of me having boyfriends (he's gotta protect his baby girl!), but ever since I got back with my soldier, he has been different. "We miss him, too" he will often tell me. That means more to me than I could explain. Daddy asks about my soldier and tells me he is praying for us and can't wait for him to come home. He has never second guessed our decision to be together.
At the same time, my soldier has tried really hard to form a relationship with my dad. Daddy can be a quiet guy, but my soldier makes an effort to spend time with him when we are home and tries to talk to him about anything he can think of; mainly sports.
When I told my soldier Daddy's birthday was coming up, he told me he wanted to call and wish him well, but he wanted to wait for his actual birthday. This made me light up. I thought it was just precious. I gave him Daddy's phone number and told him the actual date of his birthday and we decided I shouldn't tell Daddy to expect a call so he would be even more surprised. I was so excited because I knew Daddy would be very happy to hear from him.
That was the last day I talked to my soldier.
I've gotten a few very short emails, but no more phone calls. There was no contact the day before or the day of his birthday. Now, this is pretty standard for us. We get to talk a good amount, but it isn't uncommon to go a few days without contact every now and then.
When I talked to my dad on his birthday, he asked how my soldier was and if I had heard from him. He even made a sarcastic joke that he should have taken time out of his day to call. I wanted to tell him how hard we tried to get my soldier to call. I wanted to tell him that I hadn't heard from him in a few days either. I wanted to tell him my soldier wanted to call. I wanted to tell him all of this, but I didn't want to get his hopes up that my soldier may call later.
It is really hard not to get our hopes up. We get so accustomed to how things normally go. We figure if they have called two or three days in a row around the same time, they will call again at the same time. And when the phone doesn't ring, we are crushed. We forget how their schedules change almost daily. We forget that there is not really a normal right now. But we have to keep reminding ourselves that this will end and life will come back to normal very soon. Even when we get our hopes up and they come crashing down around us time and time again. It all will end and life will continue just the way it should.