By Sissy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
& Chris (email@example.com)
Alex, having done nothing but toss and turn since going to bed, sits up, knowing that sleep will not come easily tonight. She turns on the small light at the side of the bed, stands, and walks over to the window, staring out into the night. Looking up into the sky full of stars, she whispers, “Walker, I miss you,” as tears silently make their way down her cheeks. She hears a light tap on the door and turns to see her oldest son entering the room.
“Mom, are you all right?”
Quickly wiping her tears away, “Yes, son, I’m fine. You should be in bed. You have a big day ahead of you tomorrow.” She takes him in her arms for a quick hug, “your first big karate tournament. I’m very proud of you and so is your father. He wanted to be there for you …” The tears start again.
“I know, Mom. If it weren’t for him, I’d never have gotten this far. He’s quite an inspiration. He makes you believe in yourself. And now we have to believe that he’s all right and that he will be coming home soon. I know in my heart that he will be there tomorrow.”
“I do believe, John but I still worry about him.” John guides her to the bed and makes her sit.
“I know, Mom, we all do.” A noise at the door causes them to turn, seeing Jimmy and Chrissy standing at the door.
Alex holds her arms out to them and they quickly come over to her. She takes them into her arms, “What are you two doing up? Have we got a conspiracy going on here?”
“No, Mom, we were just worried about you and Dad.”
“I’m fine, Jimmy. But I guess I’m not the only one worried about your dad. It helps just having you here with me, although you should all be in bed.”
“Guess we’re all just having the same problem, Mom. We’re all concerned about Dad.”
They turn to see Jessie coming into the room.
“Jessie! What are you doing here.” She stands as Jessie comes up to her and takes her into her arms, holding her tight. “Is there a problem at school?”
“No, Mom. Everything’s fine. I was planning to come home tomorrow, anyway. Couldn’t miss the chance to see John win his first tournament. And on his sixteenth birthday, too.” Looks at John and smiles, “besides college can survive without me for a couple of days. I hadn’t planned on leaving till this morning, but … I … felt like I should be here. Nobody has heard anything about Dad?”
Alex shakes her head, “No, honey, nothing. But I’m sure he’s fine.” She sits back down on the bed, whispers, “He has to be,” as tears slide down her cheeks.
Jessie kneels down in front of her, “He is Mom, he’ll be home, I just know it.” She takes Alex’s hand in hers and reaches out to take John’s. He, in turn, takes Chrissy’s hand, she takes Jimmy’s and he picks up his Mom’s free hand. They bow their heads in silent prayer.
They spend the next hour talking about their father and the impact he has made on their lives as he guided each of them in their desire to succeed at whatever path they chose.
Suddenly Alex stands, eyes shut, listening.
Jessie sees the quiet look on her face, whispers, “Mom, what’s wrong?”
She smiles as tears fill her eyes. “He’s here.”
The four look at each other, then up at their Mom. Suddenly from the doorway they hear, “Looks like a family meeting. Mind if I join in?”
At the sound of his voice, the children run to their father, shouting in delight, “Daddy!” He pulls them into a group hug.
They finally release him and back away, watching as his eyes lock with Alex’s and he makes his way to her. He wraps his arms around her and pulls her close, burying his face into her hair. Jessie nudges the other three, whispers, “Let’s go.” They quietly leave the room, pulling the door closed behind them.
He pulls back and seeing the tears in her eyes, brushes them away with his thumb and whispers, “You knew I’d be back, didn’t you?”
She pulls him close, and murmurs softly, “I never doubted it for a minute, honey.”