I begin the day as I have done for the past two and a half years. My son waits eagerly for breakfast. His cute noises start to get a bit fussy. He's such a bright boy and is so much like his father. Will He Come Home Today?
The doorbell rings and my heart flips and quickly settles as I hear the key turn and the door open. Tina, my reliable sitter is here to look after my son. I hear her make her way to the laundry room. She will be in the house all day if anyone should drop by looking for me. Will He Come Home Today?
I place my sweet, giggling baby boy into his playpen in the living room after I finish feeding him. I hear kitchen noises and the refrigerator open. Tina must be cleaning up and putting away the dishes. As I finish dressing, my eyes automatically wander to the empty space on the wall. Until just last week, a brass-framed wedding photo hung in that spot. I would cry everytime I saw it. And still I begin to get choked up. Even though the photo isn't there, the image is burned in my mind and will be until my last breath. Will He Come Home Today?
No one has seen my husband in eight months. I remember I had just gotten a paper cut while finishing another letter I was to send his way when the doorbell rang. When I answered it and saw the two men in military uniforms, I dropped to the floor knowing there was nothing either man could say to me that I wanted to hear. It was then that I heard that my husband was missing in action and there were no details that these men could offer. I knew there was something else they could have shared. But as always, it was 'classified.' I had long since loathed the sound of that word, no matter who said it.
I needed to focus on the here and now and get ready for work. As I finish up with my make up I hear my little man begin to cry. Since Tina is here, I know that she will take care of him so that I can get ready to leave and make it to work on time. But my little fellow is crying again. And now it's getting louder. I hear footsteps headed toward my son in his playpen. All his tears make me want to cry just as much. I realize it's been nearly two years since I have seen my husband, but I haven't given up hope. I just can't. I won't. He will come back to me. He just has to come back. Will He Come Home Today?
He never even knew he was going to be a father. The sonogram photos were in the envelope I was getting ready to send. The envelope and its contents were in a desk drawer collecting dust somewhere.
Now, I hear my little boy being carried somewhere...it sounds like he is being carried to his room. He is crying again. I finish up quickly and walk toward my son's room to check on him. The crying has stopped and I hear the gliding chair moving back and forth...back and forth. Just as I turn into my son's room, my knees go weak and my mouth is open. I don't have anything to say. And yet I can't stop the tears that are welling up, filling both eyes. He's holding my son. He's holding his son. He's holding our child. My husband has come home today. He's come home!