She sat on the porch swing, crying and staring at the road, waiting.
"Bridget, honey, please come in and eat," Joshua's voice was quiet as he asked from the doorway.
"But I have to watch, I have to," the little girl's voice cracked with a sob.
The man's shoulders slumped and he let out a deep, pain-filed sigh. "Bridget, your daddy is going to flatten me for letting you miss meals." He raised his hands in an understanding surrender.
Deep down, he understood. He knew how she felt and he felt worse because not only could he not bring her daddy home, he could not tell her when he might come home from wherever he was, if he was even still alive.
He closed his eyes and dropped his hands, his own pain almost overwhelming him. Joshua nodded, unable to force her to give up her vigil. "You can eat when you come in."
Joshua never expected to be in such a position in his life. He was helping his cousin and best friend raise two children, a boy and a girl.
And now he was shocking himself almost daily with each new and deeper reailzation of how much he enjoyed the children and how much he truly loved them.
His cousin had often said that he had no way to repay him for all of his help, but to Joshua the debt was more than paid, the trust far out-weighing anything else; the trust placed in Joshua with such a precious gift, the gift of a family.
This piece is not a holiday piece, just a snippet of a much longer story. This was entered in a coontest in 2010 and took first place.
I hope you enjoy it. And I hope to post its longer version here in the coming months.