When my father came home on weekends, my younger brother and I darted to the door at the sound of his footsteps. That rattling of the door handle was, perhaps, the only force – besides a mother’s scolding – that could release our fingers from our Nintendo controllers.

“Dad’s home!” we squealed.

Excitement radiated from our small bodies as we jumped up to greet him.  My brother’s straight, glossy bowl cut fanned to the side as he turned and we sprinted toward the entryway.

With a duffel bag hung over one shoulder, my father entered. His big grin peered through his beard as we flung into his arms. The joy!

We were thrilled to see him but also so anxious to see if he had brought anything home for us. The pockets of his worn blue jeans often contained little trinkets from his travels. Sometimes it was a silly gag gift like a whoopie cushion, but sometimes it was my favorite: Chocolate!

Last week I sat on a street corner and witnessed a young girl sitting on her dad’s shoulders with a lollipop in hand. “This makes me so happy!” she exclaimed in a devastatingly pure tone. As she brought the colorful stick of sugar to her lips, I watched the man across from me grasp his heart – my own heart reuniting with the warm, fuzzy memories of my dad and me.

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