Once upon a
time there was a great man who married the woman of his dreams. With
their love, they created a little girl. she was a bright and cheerful
little girl and the great man loved her very much.
When she was
very little, he would pick her up, hum a tune and dance with her around
the room, and he would tell her, "I love you, little girl."
When the little
girl was growing up, the great man would hug her and tell her, "I love
you, little girl." The little girl would pout and say, "I'm not a
little girl anymore." Then the man would laugh and say, "But to me,
you'll always be my little girl."
girl who was not little anymore left her home and went into the world.
As she learned more about herself, she learned more about the man.
She saw that he truly was great and strong, for now she recognized his
strengths. One of his strengths was his ability to express his love
to his family. It didn't matter where she went in the world, the
man would call her and say, "I love you, little girl."
The day came
when the little girl who was not little anymore received a phone call.
The great man was sick. He had had a stroke. He was aphasic,
they explained to the girl. He couldn't talk anymore and they weren't
sure that he could understand the words spoken to him. He could no
longer smile, laugh, walk, hug, dance or tell the little girl who was not
little anymore that he love her.
And so she
went to the side of the great man. 'When she walked into the room
and saw him, he looked small and not strong at all. He looked at
her and tried to speak, but he could not.
girl did the only thing she could do. She climbed up on the bed next
to the great man. Tears ran from both of their eyes and she drew
her arms around the useless shoulders of her father.
Her head on
his chest, she thought of many things. She remembered the wonderful
times together and how she had always felt protected and cherished by the
great man. She felt grief for the loss she was to endure, the words
of love that had comforted her.
And then she
heard from within the man, the beat of his heart. The heart beat
on, steadily unconcerned about the damage to the rest of the body.
And while she rested there, the magic happened. She heard what she
need to hear. His heart beat out the words that his mouth could no longer
I love you
I love you
I love you
And she was
Author: Patty Hansen
"One Tin Soldier"
In memory of my Dad's service
to his country
W.W.II ~ USS Boyd
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