Free At Last
For the first time in 35 days, I can catch my breath. The news that my father would be released left me elated and excited. I didn’t know what it meant, when it would happen, or how, but I knew it meant good news. I can not tell you how it felt to know that after all of the struggle, there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
I raced home from work to begin preparing a welcome home dinner and make a huge sign. I jumped around like a wild woman and screamed at the thought of seeing my dad again. There are no real words to describe the heartbeat I felt in my stomach or the nervousness that ran through my brain. All I could focus on was that our day had come to be reunited again.
As I heard the garage door open, my head raced with excitement. I waited as I heard footsteps up the stairs and began bursting at the seams. The living room door opened and I leapt from my seat to be at my dad’s side. I screamed, “Daddy!” and raced for his hug. Finally, after these painful weeks, I could rap my arms around him again. I squeezed tighter and tighter, not wanting to let go, for the fear of losing him again. When I looked up, I saw the tears in his eyes and felt those in mine.
It’s a moment that I will never forget. I can’t thank each and every one of you enough for all that you have done for my dad and my family. My mom and I could never have gotten through this without the generousity and kindness people in this town and across the world have shown us. For my dad, the letters of encouragement, books, and visits meant the world. He proudly told me that his Corrections Officier commented that no one receieved anywhere near as much mail as he did and that he must have a lot of support. That is indeed true. From the bottom of my heart, I can’t thank you enough.
I am truly humbled at how much people open their hearts, and even their wallets, for a family in crisis. I feel as though I owe each of you something that I can never fully repay. My dad would not be home with my mom and me without the perseverance and strength of the people that surround us. Your advice, encouragement, support, research, letter writing, strategies, and all have been the most beautiful gifts I will ever receive.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Holidays to you and yours. 🙂