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A Hug From Daddy

A Hug From Daddy

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Published by Valerie Willman
Did my toddler understand that her father was never coming home again?
Did my toddler understand that her father was never coming home again?

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Published by: Valerie Willman on Aug 24, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/26/2012

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 A Hug From Daddy 
 by Valerie Willman
 
The green slip-cover was thin. The nubby texture of the originalupholstery bled from underneath. The room was small despite the warming September sun to lighten it.It felt like I hadn't left it for weeks. Bereavement cards scattered the desk'ssurface.The TV was on to some placid children's show and Aubrey putteredaround toys and books; her slippered two year old toes shuffling atop the waxed pine floor.Careful not to trip over the area rug, she picked her foot up and held ontothe rocking chair's spindles for balance.Draped across the rocking chair was Rob's BDU shirt -- still starched. I'dpulled it from his duffle bag -- the one his National Guard unit sent withthe Major that was handling the loose ends -- whenever it was that I got it.I pretended that time didn't exist anymore. That I had full control over itnow. I could stop it and pretend my husband was still at Cape Cod doinghis annual training for the Guard. I could rewind it to play over the lastconversation I had with him. The one where I told him I was pregnantagain. And put into slow motion his jumping up and down.Sometimes I selected scenes in the past of vacations we went on or wordsof love spoken in dark rooms; private jokes that sounded stupid to thirdparties.I creaked forward from the couch and picked up his camoed shirt -- swirlsof green, brown and tan memories. I sniffed it and put it on, leaned back and pet the sleeves.
Was I touching him or he touching me? 

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