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April 12, 2012
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Fan: Was it tough being a military family? Do you and your dad have a close relationship?

Well, every family has there ups and downs I guess. My dad was in the Coast Guard and I remember when I was really little, I asked my sister why our dad kept leaving for so long. My older sister 'hated' my dad's job. I mean, loathed it. She would always complain about it, since he was never there for her cheer leading or to take her to school or just to be a 'dad' and I remember her telling me he kept leaving cause he loved his job more then us.

I remember asking my mom why my dad kept leaving and she just ruffle my hair and tell me it was his job and it was what he loved. A passion and we just had to stay here and wait for him to come home. But I also remember her blaming his job on everything, having to raise two kids on her own, working all the time, trying to manage with our school, our after school actives and etc all on her own.

I truly believe, as sad as it is, that I am the only one in my family that is proud of my dad and didn't blame him. My sister grew up hating him for a while and then hating his job. My mother married into it knowing what he wanted to do and got upset when he kept going, even if he had a family. I was just happy he came home to see me.

I'm the baby of the family, I'm his 'daddy's lil girl' and I enjoyed every moment when he came home. When my mom would take my sister and I to the docks to wait for him to step off the boat, I remember how loud I screamed his name and how fast I ran at him to hug him and I remember the joy of seeing that smile on his face when he saw me. I remember how tight he held me and how high he picked me up to kiss me and tell me how much he missed me and what presents he brought back. Those moments, I loved every single one and whenever he left, I would yell 'I'll be waiting daddy!' cause I knew when he came back.

He was my daddy again.

When he was home, he did everything a dad would do. He picked me up from school, took me out to play. Helped me with homework and told me about his boat and what he did while he was away. I remember asking him why he left leaving and he told me,

'Its my job. They need me to keep the boat running so we can keep this place safe. I want to keep you and your sister safe. I'm sorry that I have to keep leaving, do you hate me for it?'

'Will you bring me back a present when you come back?'

'I always bring you back something.'

'Then I don't hate you.'

After a few years, I just accepted it. My dad loved his job, he wanted to prove himself and wanted to raise up in ranks and took positions and transfers in order to get it. We moved around alot and yes, my sister and I's school did suffer until my mom put her foot down and made my dad build us a house to stay put. I remember it being built and how I was going to have my own room and we would have a big back yard that my dad could teach me to play base ball in. I was so thrilled!

Then two years later, my family broke apart.

I don't blame my dad, I don't blame my mom. I don't blame his job or the military. I remember my mom crying and my sister screaming that it wasn't fair and it was his fault and she hated him before running to her room. I remember my dad calling my name and asking me to step outside on the porch to talk to me.

I still remember that talk.

'... Honey, I don't know how to tell you but I want you to know. I love you, your mom loves you and none of this is your fault. But your mom and I... we're getting a divorce.'

'Whats a divorce?'

'Its when we split up. You're going to stay here with your mom and I'm going to leave and move somewhere else but I won't leave 'you', I'll still be here. I'll just see you on weekends and take you with me on your vacations if my time is allowed.'

'..So... it'll be just like how it is now?'

'... Well yes.'

'Then that's okay. Just bring me back a present and I'll be okay with it.'

I don't know if it was joy, sadness or maybe a little pride on how well I took it cause he just smiled, hugged me and told me he loved me before sending me to my room.

My dad's job caused alot of things, good and bad. My relationship grew with him and it was stronger. I loved him no matter what he did and I cheered for him whenever he took a chance to go up in ranks. He took me on his boat when he had to work weekends just so I didn't miss a moment with him [and even let me boss around his crew that worked under him] and treated me just the same.

I am ashamed of my sister thou and truly believe she hurt my dad in the worse way.

It was a struggle and yes, things were tough but when my dad found someone who loved him and accepted him crazy life, I was glad. Yes I was sad because I wanted him with my mom but he told me he would ALWAYS love my mom, he just couldn't be with her anymore and wanted to be with this other women. She was really nice and tried really hard to make us like her and I was happy with her. My sister hated her and refused to come with me to visit, refused to spend the weekend with them because it was hurting my mom [even thou my mom was with someone else at the time as well]

Then the day came when my dad told me he was getting remarried and he wanted us to be there.

I screamed 'Awesome!'

My sister left the room.

I never seen my dad hurt so much the day before the wedding when we were at the rehearsal dinner. How my soon to be step mom had all her kids there and my dad only had me. I hated my sister so much for hurting him this way but I tried extra hard to make him happy and told him my sister was just hurt but she was happy he was getting remarried. I lied through my teeth to make him happy and that caused a wedge between to form between my sister and I.

But thats a different story.

Yes, life was hard but it was worth it. I love my dad, I am proud of him and no matter what happens. I will always tell him I was proud to be a Coast Guards daughter, and I was proud to be his child and I hope to have the same passion in my job that he had in his.

It was tough, still is but I'm okay with it.
I love my dad.
:iconvicodinflavoredmints:
VicodinFlavoredMints Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, thanks for sharing this very personal story with us.
My dad was a Highway Patrolman for a little over 25 years and there were a lot of times that he had to work holidays and weekends so it was just my brother, my mom and I. He also kept getting promotions and we had to move around a lot. I didn't understand why at first, but working the road is a dangerous job. No doubt my mom was always afraid that once he walked out the front door he wouldn't come back. Eventually he got a job where he was on the road less and made more money until he could retire. There were times that I was angry at him for uprooting us so frequently, and I even thought we would be better off if he had died in the line of service than have to drag us all over the state.
But I eventually realized that he did that job because he loved my mom, my brother and I and wanted what was best for us. He also loved the state he worked for and the job in general. For that, I am proud and love my dad to death.
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:iconzshade:
ZShade Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012
I once said that your stories always made me smile. This still holds true, but today, it's not because of humor, it's because this was simply a loving piece about you and your father.
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:iconchristchild6:
christchild6 Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2012
Thank you for this. My husband is in the Army. We have not moved nearly as much as most, but the kids naturally still find things hard. I have always taught them, and will continue to teach them what he does and why he does it. I encourage them to cheer for their dad, as you did for yours. They know he doesn't want to leave, but that, as your dad said, he wants them to be safe. Thank you so much for this. I have hope that my kids will be fine; they will grow into adults and love, and even thank, their father for all he does for them. God bless you, and thank your father for his service.
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