Sunday, February 11, 2007

Kallie fingered the deflated balloon in her pocket. It was her last one. She walked purposefully, holding Daniel's hand. Her hair was in soft ringlets, but pulled back out of her face. It was blond and shone brilliantly in the sun. She was blessed with remarkable beauty, everyone said so, but she was so quiet and contemplative for her age. It could be disconcerting at times.

They reached the top of the hill and Kallie silently handed the balloon to Daniel. He blew air into the balloon until it was the most lovely green orb Kallie had ever seen.

"Please write the letter," she said.

"I am, Kallie, dear," replied Daniel. He crouched to let it rest on his knee as he transcribed the precious words onto the balloon. There hadn't been enough space when it was deflated. Upon finishing, he tied a string to the balloon and handed it back to Kallie. She gazed at it solemnly. She walked a few steps and bowed her head for a moment. Daniel hadn't moved. There were tears in his eyes. She looked up and released the balloon.

"I love you, Mommy," she whispered as the balloon made it's way toward heaven. She turned back to Daniel.

"Ready to go, sweetie?" Daniel asked.

"Daddy, am I too big for you to carry me?" Her eyes were down cast.

"Never," said Daniel. He picked up his six-year-old daughter and in silence, they made their way home.

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