A little girl whose soldier father is stationed overseas is eagerly awaiting her return so she asks her mother for a pair of binoculars.
When Alice was six, her father was sent overseas. Like many other dads, Alice had a job that took her away from home, but her job was very dangerous. Alice’s father was a soldier.
When her father was away, Alice’s house was much quieter without her big, booming laugh, and her mother was much sadder. Alice missed him and she couldn’t wait for him to come home.
Since she was a baby, Alice always waited for her father to come home. | Source: Unsplash
But time passed and dad didn’t come home. Alice was more and more worried. “Mom,” she asked. “When is dad coming home?”
Alice’s mother sighed. “Oh, honey,” she replied. “I’m not sure. Maybe when we talk to him on Zoom tonight we can ask him, okay?”
So that night, mother and daughter jostled in front of the laptop as a handsome man in fatigues smiled and waved at them. “Father!” Alice cried. “When are you coming home?”
Hope is what gives us the strength to go through the pain of separation.
“Hey little girl!” said Alice’s father. ” You are so beautiful ! How was the school ?
Alice jumped into the chair impatiently. “It was good daddy!” she says. “But you haven’t answered my question!” When are you coming back?
Alice’s mother told her she had to be patient. | Source: Unsplash
“Honey,” Alice’s father said quietly. “I do not know yet…”
Alice burst into tears. “But I want you here for my birthday!” she sobbed.
Alice’s mother put her arm around her daughter. “Honey,” she said softly. “Your birthday is still six months away. Let’s just see what happens…”
“But I want dad to come home!” Alice screamed angrily, and her father, looking across the world, looked really, really sad.
“Little girl,” he said. “You know if I could be there with you and mom right now, I would be.”
Alice was still at the window, watching her dad. | Source: Unsplash
“So why aren’t you?” Alice asked, pouting.
“Because I have a job to do,” Dad said. “You’ll find out when you grow up that sometimes we have to do what we have to do – even when we’d rather be home with our family.”
But now Alice was too upset and too sleepy (it was VERY late when they called Dad once a week) and she wasn’t listening. Alice’s mom said goodbye to dad and sent him a big kiss.
Then she took Alice to her bedroom and tucked her into bed where Alice started crying again. “I’m sorry I yelled at dad,” she said. “I miss him so much…”
“I know it,” Alice’s mother said softly. “And so is he. Why don’t you pray for Dad and all his friends? And we’ll pray that Dad will come home as soon as he can…”
Alice’s mom gave her some cool twin girls. | Source: Unsplash
Time passes very slowly when waiting for a loved one to come home, and the wait is especially hard on children. For them, time unfolds slowly, endlessly.
To Alice, each day felt like a week, each week a whole month. She would often sit at the upstairs window for hours and watch the road. “Alice,” mom asked. “What are you doing here?”
“That’s where you can see the farthest,” Alice explained. “I want to be the first to see dad when he comes home.”
“I have an idea!” Alice’s mother cried. She went up to the attic, and a little later she came back with a dusty black box. She opened the box and pulled out an old pair of binoculars.
“See!” said Alice’s mother. “With these binoculars, you can see even further! These belonged to your father when he was a child like you. He used them to observe birds…”
Alice watched the road during the party. | Source: Pexel
“And I can use it to watch daddy!” cried Alice enthusiastically. “THANKS MOM!”
From then on, every afternoon, Alice sat by the window and scanned the road and the horizon for her father. Somehow, time accelerated and before she knew it, it was her birthday.
“Is dad coming? Alice asked her mother, who just looked sad, and said she didn’t know. Alice’s birthday finally arrived and the house was full of guests, cakes and sweets.
But where was Alice? Alice was upstairs at the window, with her binoculars trained on the road, watching her dad. “Come down, Alice,” her mother said softly. “Your friends are waiting.”
Alice looked at her mother. ” Please, Mom ! she begged. “Just five more minutes!”
Alice knew the man on the hill was her father. | Source: Pexel
Alice’s mother saw her daughter’s gaze and sighed. “Five more minutes,” she nodded.
Alice picked up her binoculars and led them on the road. Wait… what was that? There was a man walking on the road up the hill… A man in uniform…
cried Alice. ” MOM ! MOM ! It’s dad! Her mother came running, but suddenly the man in the road turned around and walked away again. “He left!” Alice cried.
“Why did he leave?” she sobbed, and her mother picked up the binoculars and looked at them. A big smile split her face and she handed the binoculars back to her daughter.
“Look, Alice! she says.
It was Alice’s best birthday ever. | Source: Unsplash
Alice grabbed the binoculars and saw that there were TWO men on the crest of the hill. One of them was her dad, and they were holding a big banner that said, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALICE!” DAD IS HOME!
It was the best birthday Alice had ever had, especially when her dad told her he was home to stay.
What can we learn from this story?
- Hope is what gives us the strength to go through the pain of separation. She missed her dad so much, and what helped her was hoping she would see him on that hill, walking home.
- The family is our greatest treasure. No matter what else we might accomplish in this life, nothing compares to the love of our family.
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If you liked this story, you might like the story of a man who buys an old flag at a yard sale and then drives across the country to return it to its rightful owner.
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