This is for Stan. I hope he would've liked it.
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. None of the characters, places, or anything else is meant to be represented by anything in reality. Duh! Fiction, get it? I the author reserve the rights, so please don't go posting this anyplace else without my permission. A round of thanks goes out to all the others out there in BCTS land who have encouraged and inspired me to write and keep writing.
This has a triple tissue warning. I cried while writing it. I cried while trying to edit it. I cried while posting it. Take my warning for what it is worth.
In memory of Stan
The older man caught the child as she ran like an out of control force of nature right into his arms.
“I'm Home!” She squealed as he picked her twirling her about in a circle as they both laughed.
“Yes, you are!” He agreed smiling, as he sat her down on his lap.
Joyfully she hugged him telling him without any words how much she loved him. He hugged her back just as unreservedly.
Both were content not to say anything. It was enough just to be together, but like any child she couldn't sit still for very long. He also wasn't surprised when the first words she spoke it was a question.
“Why?” She asked, without any accusation. “It hurt so very much, and I don't think some of them liked me very much.”
He carefully shifted her about where they could see each other's faces.
“Sometimes, it takes more an argument or clever words to reach someone.” A tear began to sting his own eyes. “Some people can't be reached at all and I grieve that is so, however for those others it takes someone very special to touch them.”
“Someone like me?” She said, her innocent eyes wide open as she took in his words.
“Yes,” He agreed, “Someone just like you.” The stinging in his eyes burned as another tear formed.
“Not all, but a few of those who were mean and spiteful will realize that you never got angry or unkind back at them. You never ever had a mean word for anyone, but instead always encouraged others as best as you could. That will make them think and perhaps open their hearts a little more to others when they see them in need.”
“So I helped them?” Her face was a study as she thought it out.
“Yes, you did!” He tickled her.
She twisted like cat, as she giggled, “I'm glad.”
“Now run alone and play.” He urged her. “You have a lot of old friends who are very eager to see you again.”
Her eyes shined as he put her on her feet. Following his gentle nudge, she squealed again as she saw the bridge gleaming like a rainbow.
Watching her run to meet the small ones who been waiting for her all these long years, he let his tears fall. He felt others stop their work to watch as well as one little girl was greeted with happy licks and joyful barks from her dear friends.
“The greatest of my servants have never been men of power or of learning.” He said to nobody in particular, but all nearby listened. “It has and always have been those of great heart and soul.”
Remembering all of her pain and trials, tears ran down his cheeks as he bowed his head humbled. “Like hers.”
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