Happy Anniversary, my love! Can you believe that it has been three years? It seems like just yesterday that I was walking down the aisle, on my fatherís arm. You looked so dashing in your green Class Aís, the buttons polished to a high shine. It took you hours to shine the fingerprints off those buttons after the reception. I don't think that you really minded, even though you grumbled about Cousin Brenda's children for weeks after.
Blue just jumped up on the bed. She seems to think that this is ďpet-meĒ time. Sheís purring already. Oh, I went to visit your parents last week and I finally heard the Sand Hill Cranes. Youíre right, Blueís purr sounds just like their call. Youíll be glad to know that I am actually letting her sleep on the bed now. I know, I know. You wanted that all along. Iím sorry that I waited till you were gone to let her do it. Youíre right; it is nice having that little warm body curl up next to you.
Iíve been watching the news every day. Two more men died in Iraq this morning. It sounded like they were part of your group. Iím praying for your guys over there. Theyíve been through a lot in the last six months. One dangerous assignment after another - one lost life followed by another. Itís no wonder that you couldnít get leave to come home for our Anniversary. We both realized that this was a possibility. Please know I love you, even though you canít be with me.
Both Blue and I miss you. Your poor cat still wanders around the house looking for you. More often than not, I find her curled up beside your old boots. She cries if they are not there, by the door. So, I leave them out, just for her. I guess we both have things that remind us of you. Itís those things that make us feel that you might be here with us.
I have to admit, Iím sitting here in the bed, wrapped in your blue terrycloth robe. It still smells like you, though you left for Iraq eight months ago. I love feeling the material wrap around me. I imagine it is your arms caressing me, holding me close, keeping me from harm. I needed to feel close to you tonight.
Happy Anniversary! I love you! I always will!
Holly folded the paper and carefully slid it into the envelope. Sealing the letter with a kiss, she opened her bedside drawer and filed the letter with the others Ė five months worth of mail. Tears blurred her vision as she looked at the folded flag on the table. The blue field and white stars danced together. She loving touched the bronze plaque.
ďOh Kyle, I miss you.Ē
Blue washed the tears from Holly chin. Holly pulled the cat closer and buried her face in the blue-grey coat. Blue purred in her distinct way. It was the sound that Kyle loved, the sound he would never hear again.
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