A short story to honor our Vets on Veterans Day! Thank you for your service and sacrifice. We salute you!
Momma said my Daddy’s coming home today. He’s been gone a long time and I miss him so much. When he sees me, I know he’s gonna throw me up in the air, catch me in his strong arms, and hold me tight.
I love having Daddy home. We wash the car together. We feed our dog, Max, and go to the barbershop to get our hair cut. Daddy keeps his real short ‘cuz he’s an Army guy.
When I grow up, I want to be an Army guy too. I’ll have ribbons and medals on my uniform and a rifle to practice shooting.
Daddy flies on an airplane with the other Army guys to help people in a place far, far away. Momma always cries when Daddy goes. That makes me sad, and I cry too, but when he comes home, Momma still cries. She says they are happy tears, but when I see him, I’m just gonna smile and hug him ‘cuz I’ll be so glad to have my Daddy home.
We’re going to meet Daddy at the church. Momma says all Daddy’s friends will be there, and Grandma and Grandpa too. Momma dressed me in my nice shirt and pants, ‘cuz she says we have to look our Sunday best.
When we arrive at the church, I run ahead to try and find Daddy, but I can’t see him anywhere. Then Momma takes my hand and we walk to the front of the church. That’s where I finally see my Daddy, lying very still, sleeping, I think, in a long wooden box.
“Daddy,” I shout and run to him, but he doesn’t wake up. Something is wrong with Daddy. Mommy is crying now and holding me tight.
“Wake up, Daddy, please wake up.”
“Your Daddy’s gone to heaven,” she says
“No, no, no,” I reply, but I know Daddy isn’t going to wake up. I start to cry, knowing my Daddy will never again grab me under my arms or throw me in the air. He won’t catch me or hug me tight. My Daddy is really gone.
I can still feel the pain in my heart when I remember back. I have missed my Dad every day since his death. Nothing can replace him and the place he holds in my heart. It’s like there’s a hole there, so big, that the wind can blow right through. Nothing can fill the void, but there is something which has replaced the flood of bad memories, and that’s when I come home from work each night and my little boy runs to me, yelling, “Daddy.” I grab him under the arms, throw him into the air, catch him, and hug him tight.
by Carol Palmer Nugent
About the author- Carol Palmer Nugent is a member of Word Weavers of Northern Arizona and American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two dogs. She enjoys gardening, reading, writing, and learning something new each day. She has had short stories published in Good Old Days and Ruby for Women Magazines, a true story in A Woman of Wort Anthology, and two stories in Little CAB Press’s Christmas Collection Volume II. In addition, Carol received an honorable mention in the 85th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition.