Shelby watched Campbell with his grandparents and smiled. It was his birthday and they had come to visit and spend the day with him. She was happy they were here so Campbell would get to know them a bit. She wished that they lived closer so they could spend more time together.
Campbell had already blown out his candles and opened his gifts. Most of the guests had already gone home. It was just his grandparents, his aunt, and his uncle still there.
Andy sat down beside Shelby and watched Campbell.
“Have you told them about the phone call?”
Shelby shook her head. “I don’t want to get their hopes up, then be wrong.”
“Do you think you are wrong?”
She looked over at her dad. “I know he is still alive, Daddy. I would feel it if he wasn’t. I don’t know for sure that it was him on the phone, but my heart says it was.”
He squeezed her hand and gave her a little smile.
“If your heart says it was him, then I am sure it was. Hopefully it is a sign that he will be home soon.”
Shelby looked over at her son and her husband’s parents. “I sure hope he is, Daddy. Campbell needs his father.”
“And you need your husband.”
She nodded and bit her bottom lip. “I’m afraid he won’t be the same when he does come home. It won’t make me love him any less, but what if his feelings for me has changed?”
Andy knew that was a possibility. Things like this changed people. He could even see how his daughter had changed during Philip’s absence.
“No matter what his feelings are, it will be an adjustment for all of you.”
Shelby nodded and sighed. “I know. Right now, the hardest part is the not knowing. I know he’s out there somewhere. I’m pretty certain that was him trying to call the other night. What I don’t know is where he is or what happened to him. He asked for help on the phone. How can I help if I don’t know what is going on?”
Andy put his arm around her shoulders and kissed her forehead.
“You did all that you could do by calling his commander. It is up to them to do their jobs now.”
“I know, Daddy. He wasn’t very reassuring when I talked to him, though.”
“You just have to keep believing in your heart that Philip will be home.”