The chain

Poppa wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close to him. She could smell his cologne; musky with a hint of spice. She burried her nose in his shirt, thinking that if she could breathe in enough of his smell, she could keep it in her nose forever.

Suddenly Poppa’s voice rumbled through his chest as he said, “sweetheart, I will always be with you. I’ll be here, and I’ll be italic here. ” He touched a finger to her temple and her heart. As she slipped her small hand into his much larger one, he squeezed it tight. That was his way of telling her how much he loved her.

They climbed into the car to take the longest trip of her life. When she woke up, Poppa was gone, and she and Momma were pulling into the driveway. Her pocket seemed heavier than it had been; she reached in, wrapped her hand around something and pulled it out. It was Poppa’s chain!

For eight months, she clutched that chain every night as she prayed, “Dear God, please bring Poppa home safe.” One night, Poppa joined her in prayer.

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