My mother, Heather, messages my father, John, before going to sleep. She often goes to bed with his side still made up.
A photograph of Dad sits on the bedside table, surrounded by the books Mum reads to pass the time. It was taken the day he became a pilot. We are all very proud of the picture.
A bag of untouched waste rests against the counter. While Dad is away life in the house becomes stagnant.
Mum hangs out her bed sheets. She often cleans the house in preparation for Dad's return.
My brother, Nicholas, disappears back into his room. He rarely comes out when Dad is away.
Dad returns after a week of flying to and from Bali. The groaning of the garage door notifies us of his return, and we rush to welcome him.
Dad sleeps most of the day, as he only gets a few hours sleep when coming back from Bali. Even though we all want to talk to him, we leave him to rest.
As soon as he is awake, Dad disappears up on the roof. Whenever he is home, jobs like cleaning the gutters and and mowing the lawn come first.
Dad checks his roster for the coming month as mum waits to hear the verdict.
Mum and Dad watch proudly as Nick tries on his suit for his school formal. Dad has managed to get time off, and we are all glad he will be there.
Dad begins ironing his work clothes, wordlessly telling us that he will be gone soon.
Dad's shirt hangs on his door, ready for his imminent departure.
Once again the house feels empty. We all wait.