He's been gone 20 years

When I was five years old my family received the dreaded knock on the door. I'm sure you've heard about this knock. I'm prayin you've never had to experience it for yourself. But this knock is every military families worst nightmare. Men in uniforms came to our door to inform my mother that my daddy had been killed. My daddy was in the Army. He was in Somalia in 1993 with Operation Restore Hope. He was killed on Aug 8 by a road side bomb.

I can still remember the knock like it was yesterday. I remember feeling like the men were lying. My parents were divorced at the time so part of me thought that my parents were just mad at each other. I just couldn't believe it. My younger brother was too young to even know what was going on. I just remember sobbing when my mother told me my daddy wasn't coming home. 

I've always had dreams that he came home and was ok. Obviously this isn't going to happen but it always happened the closer I came to big life events. When I was getting married I made sure to have a specific amount of flowers as I walked down the aisle. Each rose represented a member of my family that had passed. It took a lot for me not to cry as the pastor read off who each rose was for in my bouquet. Leading up to the wedding the only thing I wanted was my daddy to be there to walk me down the aisle. I knew it couldn't happen but I prayed for him to watch for me.

I have two young daughters and I love to tell them about their papaw. I wish he could have held each girl on the day they were born but I know he was there in spirit. I talked to him about the health of each baby before they were born. I feel like talking to him makes me miss him less. 

I have days where I just cry. I sit and watch people hate their fathers and wish I was them. I wish I had to opportunity to even talk to him in person just once. I'd trade my left leg to be able to hug him just one time. I'd give up anything to just hear him say he loves me and is proud of me. I'd trade a year of my life to just spend one day with him. 

Today I made a decision to get a tattoo for him. I didn't want something big and tacky. I wanted simple and something a daddy might not get too upset about on his daughter. I got my daddy's signature on my forearm today. And I think he would approve.

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