On the steps of that worn out front door, I hugged my dad goodbye not knowing if it would be the last time I ever held him. More than once I had to kiss my dad goodbye and not know if he would be returning, although I was young both times my dad deployed I remember how high the stakes were and how drawn out his year long tours felt. I remember going to sleep in my princess themed bed without getting his kisses goodnight, and the only thing that kept my spirits high while he was gone were the distinct memories of him tucking me in and the anticipation of him coming back home.
Believe it or not, my childhood home wasn’t filled with just terrors; it was the house my mom lived in during high school while dating my dad. And it wasn’t long before my parents were staying in the room at the end of the hall that later became my room after they bought the house from my grandmother. That house then became the first one they ever bought, and the home they raised all four of their children in. On top of us all growing up in the same house, we attended the same schools, played on the same red and yellow playgrounds and even rode our bikes down the same streets.
Sadly, we moved from our Sugar Land home to our Richmond house in 2013, and I hope to one day bring the house back into our family and maybe raise my own kids in a renovated version of my childhood home. Not only do I hope to remodel the house and build a new tree house in the backyard, but also build memories that my children can look back on years down the road like I am able to. I, along with my family, hug my retired Army vet dad on the steps of our new home and am thankful that wasn’t the last time we ever held him.