I stepped in and said 'No', she is mine. And 'she will be a soldier's angel'. And that she has been, for nine years. She has also been my angel time after time after time. In turmoil, I have turned to her. In happiness, I have turned to her and in sadness I shed tears into her neck. I have scratched her neck and snuggled her neck and slipped bandanas around her neck and loved smelling the special Gracie fragrance found only in her neck.
This morning I sang her favorite song to her, trying to choke back tears, as I drove her to the hospital. "Jesus loves me this I know. For the bible tells me so. Little ones to him belong. They are weak but he is strong."
The phone should ring shortly. I should be patient. I should be strong. But truth is the lump in my throat and the tears in my eyes are winning. Aren't I supposed to be the strong one? Dealing with wounded warriors with multiple amputations and burn survivors should have made me strong.
Maybe it did, in just a different way. Oh to hold her close once again.