A wisp of a baby was carefully placed in Tibby’s arms.
“Mom, I want you to meet Cailyn,” Sophie whispered, blinking back tears.
“Sophie, she’s beautiful...” Tibby said, cradling the little girl close, brushing a gentle hand across her dark hair.
Sophie and her husband, Jeremy, were both serving in the army, and were both stationed in Iraq. Four months ago, this little angel of a girl was born. And now, this infant was being given to Tibby to raise, while her parents were serving the United States. This had to be a crime somewhere.
There had been barely enough time for the new mother to have time to bond with her daughter, and the worst part was Tibby knew there were some small odd that neither parent would return.
Sophie was struggling to be strong. Tibby hated the pain that her eldest daughter was going through. Sophie sniffled again, tentatively reaching out to touch her only child. Jeremy had an arm wrapped around Sophie’s waist; he was muttering something into her ear. He was one of the few lucky soldiers who happened to be on leave when his child was born and Tibby wasn’t completely sure how he swung extra leave to be here now.
But she wasn’t asking.
Sophie needed him here, now.
“Sophie, don’t worry, I will take care of her until y’all come back.” Tibby smiled gently, and looked down at her grandbaby. “I will show her your pictures every day, and tell her how wonderful and brave her parents are.”
“I know that you’ll take good care of her, Mom. It’s just that I don’t want to leave my little girl...I’m just worried that something will happen to one of us.”
Tibby shook her head once. “I thought I taught you better, Sophie. The Good Book states, ‘For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.’ I believe that not only will you and Jeremy go, but you will both return to a smiling toddler who knows her parents.”
Sophie paused for a long moment. Tibby could see the wheels in her daughter’s mind spinning.
“Thank you, Mom. I needed to hear that.”
Tibby smiled faintly as Cailyn opened her sleepy eyes, blinking several times. Carefully, she passed her grandbaby back to Sophie.
“You’re welcome. Now you need to say your good-byes...all three of you. Take your time. I’m just going into the other room.” Tibby stated, keeping her eyes focused on Sophie and Jeremy.
Quietly, Tibby walked out of the family room into the kitchen. Much had to be done for little Cailyn. Tibby wasn’t about to let her grandbaby forget her parents, no matter how young she was.
It was her mission now, until the baby girl’s mom or dad came home, to keep Cailyn happy, healthy, and thriving...and suddenly, it seemed like a mission impossible.
“New mothers are exempt from deployment for four months. But after that, husband-and-wife soldiers have to arrange for childcare if they are both sent overseas. Often, relatives or close friends take care of the children.” Associated Press. “Baby Boom hits Military.” CNN.com. Thu July 26, 2007
Psalm 91:11 (NIV)
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