Till morning light, that's what father used to tell me.
I missed father. I missed the wrinkles around his eyes that would appear whenever he smiled.
I missed that way he would shake his fist at the world whenever he lost the lottery.
I missed the way he would wipe my tears and tell me that mother is watching,
-that mother misses us just as much.
I remember when he brought home a baby lamb one day, said he found it underneath the porch.
We don't have much of a porch.
I think he purchased it at the fair and wanted to surprise me.
I named her Pocket since her wool would resemble little pockets whenever I'd leave my hands on her coat for too long.
Father didn't come home last night. Sometimes he doesn't come home. He looks a little pale lately and very tired.
I'm going to surprise him with breakfast tomorrow. I'll have to wake up really early just in case. I don't want to miss him.
I miss father.
Today Pocket brought me a gift. She had a beautiful dark blue ribbon wrapped around her leg. I've no clue how she's managed to wrap herself in that ribbon, but the color does suit nicely on her.
I am going to take her ribbon and tie it nicely around her neck like a fashionable collar. Father said that royals wore dark colors. I think Pocket may secretly be queen of all the sheep.
She certainly is well mannered, so it must be it.
Father came home today! He looks gravely ill. I had to eat father's breakfast the other day since he didn't come. Today, I'm going to make it again even though it's almost bedtime.
I hope father feels better.
Today, I was walking around the backyard when I spotted someone far, far away. I walked as far as at the end of our field to see that person.
They were walking kind of funny. I think they were limping. I hope that they are okay.
I went to creep closer, but suddenly Pocket bit the hem of my dress and pulled me away. I guess it was feeding time or something because Pocket really didn't want me to take a step further.
When I walked back with her, she seemed relieved.
I think Pocket just missed me.
Sometimes I feel lonely, so I always pray that father returns home from wherever he is. I think Pocket is just like me and doesn't want to be by herself.
Father said something strange to me today. He has been in bed for a few days now. He looks worse and worse every time I see him.
He told me that if he doesn't get better, I should lock him in his room from the outside and to make use of the bomb shelter we have by the house.
Father says that he made the shelter for emergencies and that if something happens I should go to the shelter by myself.
I asked father if he would come with me. He said that if he doesn't make it then I'll have to go. He said I can bring Pocket, so I wouldn't be lonely.
I don't understand what father meant by him "not going to make it".
I really really hope that father gets better. I feel like he got the same sickness as mother.
I hope that I don't get sick and that Pocket doesn't get sick too.
When I was little, I had a bad fever and I was hot all over and had no appetite. I love food.
I feel bad for father because now he had a fever and no appetite.
I will try to make mother's special soup for father. When mother made it for me, I got better and better.
Today I walked to the edge of the field again. That person is still limping.
I walked a little closer and I think it is a lady. She has blue jeans as blue as the sky and a dark flannel shirt on.
I think she is looking for something because she keeps looking left and right. Sometimes she crouches down on the ground to listen.
I see a bright red car a little farther away.
What is she looking for?
Father has been quiet all morning. I went to check up on him and also give him breakfast.
At first, father didn't say anything. I touched his arm and he blinked tears from his eyes.
I think father has been crying.
His eyes are all red and he sounds really sad when he talks. Maybe he was thinking about mother again.
Last night, father called me to his room. I gave Pocket her night snack and then went to see him in his room. Even Pocket looked worried before I left her.
Father still looks really sick. He said that he doesn't think that he'll get better.
Father gave me a thickly bound letter and a photo album of all of us. It was mother father and me and even Pocket when she was a baby!
He said to not read the letter until I am in the shelter.
He also said something strange.
He said to collect as much food and supplied to store in the shelter because we are going on a camping trip.
Maybe father wants to surprise me again. I think that he is really trying to get better for a little while so that we could go camping before he dies like mother.
I don't know why, but I'll pretend that father is going to get better, even if we are not going to go camping.
The shelter is a little farther than I thought. I brought Pocket and a big wagon full of things from the house with me.
When I went to find the shelter I almost did not see it. It was a really hard door. I think it was made of STEEL.
Father taught me what STEEL was and that it was very hard to break. I think he also said it was TITANIUM STEEL or something like that.
I think Pocket likes it. She keeps rubbing her head on it like a kitten.
I brought all of our things down. I even brought father's clothes and favorite toys down just in case. I know he told me not to touch his toys, but I wanted to surprise him.
He showed me how to shoot with one, but to be very very careful because it was not a toy to play with all the time.
I think father is just saying that because he used to play with it a lot in the field before he got sick.
I looked up towards to door in the ceiling of the shelter. It is very far away.
I wonder if Pocket would fit in the shelter, then we can play pretend camping until father gets better and we go for real!
Father was coughing and groaning a lot today. I think he really is going to die. I think that if you cough and groan a lot then there isn't much time left.
I made father some hot tea. He didn't touch it when I put it on the table for him by his bed.
Father told me to bring him something else.
Last night I heard a lot of yelling and loud noises outside. I was scared, but Pocket was with me, so I calmed down. Father came out of his room and walked to the window.
I've never seen father get up ever!
I think he is feeling better.
Father told me that I should go to the shelter tomorrow because there are some bad people coming to the house. I asked father why I had to go and he said it was because he didn't want me to die.
I didn't understand.
Father said he will come with me.
Today had been very quiet.
Father helped me pack a backpack with some more things we needed at the shelter.
We packed batteries, little radios we could use to talk to each other, all sorts of candles and matches to light them, all of my long dresses and shirts and blankets
my favorite marigold pillow that had little tassels on it, my walking shoes and father's torchlight.
I made a separate pack with all the food we had left that I collected from the garden and grabbed father's hand. Before we left, father turned to me and handed a wrapped present.
I opened it and inside was another beautiful red ribbon for Pocket, grandfather's knife and a picture of father and mother and me as a baby.
Father said that he wants me to have grandfather's knife so that I can be safe and a picture to remind me that I'm not lonely because father and mother are with me.
I really tried not to, but I cried in front of father. I wanted to be brave for him today.
He hugged me for a long time and then let me go when I thought he forgot to.
We had to walk very quietly to the shelter.
Father said that it was a secret place and that only he and I and Pocket knew about it.
Pocket was very quiet too.
Father had to go away. He said that he was going to protect me and Pocket because the bad people were coming.
I made father take one of the little radios anyway so that we could talk to each other.
He helped Pocket come in the shelter. He made a little elevator that she could fit in. It's called a dumbwaiter, but I don't think it's dumb at all.
Father also said that there is a secret door in the shelter that leads to a hallway underground. He said I can use the door, but to keep it secret because it leads to outside.
I drew pictures of Pocket to pass the time.I think she likes them because she keeps chewing on the corners. Silly, Pocket.
Father sang me a song this morning. It woke me up. I think it was very very early. Father used to sing when mother was alive.
He sang about how beautiful and calm the morning light was.
He sang to me about the different colors in the sky the sun made and how the birds would sing. He sang about how mother looked like again and how beautiful she was when he met her.
He sang about me when I was born and how happy they were and he sang about how he found Pocket.
Father sang how everything was going to be okay.
"Just wait till the morning light" he sang.
Till the morning light.
I didn't hear father on the little radio again.