Through most of my elementary school days it seemed that Daddy was gone away more than he was home. During those years he traveled as an evangelist.
As I look back, I remember the warm, secure feeling I experienced when he was home for a few days, after having been gone for two or three months---a feeling all warm and cozy as I went to bed at night. After all my Daddy was home! What more could any little girl want?
Always, on the day of his arrival home, excitement ran high. And always, after things settled down to a fairly normal pitch, he would open his big, black suitcase and take out a present for each of us. He never forgot!
It's a natural thing to want to share all the days events with the ones we love. I used to store up in my mind all the wonderful, exciting things Molly, my best friend, and I discovered as we played. But, somehow, I never seemed to have a chance to tell Daddy all the things that are so important to a little girl of seven. I still remember the day when it all came to a head.
Daddy had come home again. My little brother, Billy, was sitting on his lap; my older brother, Richard, and sister, Lorraine, were competing for his attention. I waited for my turn as long and as patiently as I could, but suddenly I could wait no longer. I stomped my foot and shouted, "It's my turn to talk to Daddy!"
Everyone stopped talking and looked straight at me in complete surprise. I'm still not sure whether I or the rest of the family was more startled. There was complete silence for a few seconds, then Mother came to the rescue.
"OK," she said. "Everyone be quiet now and let Anita talk."
But in that very moment, all those big, important, wonderful things I had stored up in my mind to share with Daddy, suddenly became small, and I found I had nothing to say at all. Everyone was waiting to hear what I had to tell, but all I could do was stand there. Two big tears began to trickle down my cheeks. Then Daddy's long arms reached out and folded around me. I began to sob. Tears flowed freely. Then, as he held me close, I stopped crying, and that warm, secure feeling spread through me again. After all, my Daddy was home! What more could any little girl want?