“Thank you, officer.” Rebecca whispered as she shut the door and watched the Marine walk away. She leaned against the door and slide to the ground. Her hand shook slightly and tears rolled down her cheeks. Rebecca looked outside into the backyard at her daughter playing in the leaves. Her blonde curls bounced up and down as she ran around the yard, a smile on her face as she laughed to herself.
“How am I going to tell her?” the woman thought. She looked so innocent running around playing without a care in the world.
Rebecca stood staring out the window for a while longer just watching her angelic daughter, trying to think of the right words to say. There was nothing she could say that would make it any better.
As she walked outside the brisk October air chilled her face. She pulled her sweater around herself a little tighter, looking for some comfort. Rebecca took one step at a time, slowly walking over to where her daughter was.
Her daughter saw her mother approach. With a big smile, she raised her hand and stared to wave. “Hi mommy! Are you gonna come play with me?” she asked eagerly.
“Callie.” the woman whispered, struggling just to get the two-syllables out of her mouth.
“Are you okay, mommy?” the little girl asked, her voice full of concern.
Rebecca slowly sat down on the cold, dead grass and pulled her daughter towards her. Callie sat down on her mom’s lap and looked up at her with her huge, baby blue eyes.
“I have something that I want to talk to you about.”
“Okay.” the young child said, knowing that whatever words came next would not be good.
“It’s about daddy.” the woman paused, tears still in her eyes. She searched her daughter’s face.
Callie looked up at her mother. The expectant look in her eyes turned to a look of worry.
Rebecca took a deep breath. She didn’t want to tell her daughter any more, but she knew that she owed Callie the truth. “You’re not going to be able to see daddy anymore.”
With tears in her eyes Callie asked, “What do you mean? Did he go somewhere> Does daddy still love us?”
“Oh, sweetie.” Rebecca had not expected Callie to think that he had just left them. Maybe she should just come right out and say what happened. “Of course. Daddy will always love you. I mean…” she paused searching for the right words.
“What? Mommy, what do you mean?” Callie asked urgently.
“Daddy’s in heaven now.”
Callie put her arms around her mother and started to sob. They just sat there in silence, except for the sounds of their crying for what seemed to be forever.
Finally Callie stopped and looked up at her mom. “It’s gonna be okay mommy. We still have each other.”
This made Rebecca cry even harder as she realized she shouldn’t have been so worried to talk to Callie. Callie may have only been a five year old, but she was wiser than many adults. Callie slipped her hand into her mother’s and they began life together, just the two of them.