I too began to cry, so I closed my eyes so Ali couldn’t see me. I opened them again because my mom’s hand was wrapped around me, soothing me for a second.
“It’s okay Genevieve, let it out,” whispered my mom in a voice only I could hear.
Life had been this way for eight months since my dad left our little apartment in Boston, Massachusetts. Originally, my dad had orders to Kuwait, which my family accepted. He wanted to fight for his country, so he reenlisted. As the days led up to my dad’s departure, I noticed him acting unusual. His hair was turning gray and his eyes were fading. One day I went up to him and asked, “Daddy, what’s wrong?”
“Well Pumpkin, I received a letter last week stating that I...” was all he said.
“What Daddy, what?” I shouted as my eyes swelled with tears.
My dad sighed. He looked me in the eyes and said, “I’m going to Afghanistan.”
“No, you can’t !” I wailed.
“Genevieve, your father reenlisted last week. He has no say on going to Afghanistan,” said Mom in an agonizing voice.
My sister bolted into the room, she’d obviously been listening. “How can this be?,” she said as if this had been the first time in her life that she had been awake.
We all cried with dad for our first, and sadly, last time. Why, of all people did this happen to us? Why? What have we done wrong?
On the day of my dad’s trip, we all prayed that he would stay safe, healthy and would return soon. As I watched my dad climb into the plane, I began to shake, and my heart was about to explode. I watched the plane soar into the sky with my dad. I knew it in my bones that I would never see him again.
Mom, Ali and I had been living without Dad for two months, praying each day. Every time we prayed, doubt took the best of me. My stomach sank and a “knot” swelled in my throat.
On a Sunday afternoon, an officer from my dad’s work came to our door. Mom answered it with Ali and I crowding around her.
“Unfortunately, the enemy ambushed our camp and 80 soldiers were killed. One of the people was … your husband. I’m so sorry.” he sighed and said, “God bless. Bye.”
As my mom closed the door, he said two words, “Have hope.”
“I don’t need hope, I need my dad!” I shouted hysterically. My dad’s death hurt me as if I had been struck by lightning to the power of infinity. I cried my heart out for the first time in my life. Mom and Ali cried too. We all held on too each other and never stopped. It would just be the three of us from now on.
Now, we’re all a wreck. We have mood swings constantly. Sometimes were angry, and sometimes we’re sad.
As I was banging my feet against the wall, something appeared next to me. It was a crumpled note that said, “Never let fear break you, always let faith take you.”
I realized what the note meant, and I rushed over to tell Mom and Ali about my discovery. “Why are we crying? Why are we sad? Dad was a good person. He lived a happy life. Have hope,” I said to them. I leaned over and hugged them both. Slowly, I felt their cold bodies gain warmth.
“Your right. We all need hope. I love you and Ali so much,” said Mom hugging us.
“Genevieve, we are so blessed to have you. I love you so much!” said my sister.
“I guess we really never know how good we have it until it’s gone,” I said with gratitude.
“Do you want to watch a movie?” Mom asked.
“Sure!” said Ali and I at once.
“I want to pick the movie!” I exclaimed
“As long as Ali’s fine with it,” said my mom.
“I’m cool with Genevieve picking. Knock yourself out Lil Sis!” said Ali.
“Zookeeper it is!” I said jubilantly.
For the first time in my life, I felt relieved. My mind was at peace. Finally, everything was in it’s place.