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The Warm Ache of Love

Story ID:7288
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Caldwell Idaho USA
Year:2011
Person:Elizabeth
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Another work day was over. My back still ached from a recent bout with
sciatica. I eased myself carefully into the driver’s seat and sighed as my weight was
released from my spine. The constant pain wore me out. When would it end?

On the drive home, I looked forward to seeing her. I was still miles from home,
but I could feel her love. She’s my little girl. She captured my heart years ago. I could not
and would not stop the love I had for her.

I pulled into the driveway, stepped from the car and walked to the house. I opened
the door. There she was. A smile lit her face. In a house of four adults and four children,
she was the first to ask, “How was your day?”:

It warmed my heart. “It was great. How was yours?”

“It was good.” she replied, as she took my travel mug from me and headed to the
kitchen. I looked down. My slippers waited for me. Sometimes she played and hid them
from me, but on that night, she had them waiting for my tired feet – ever thoughtful.

I slipped them on, hung up my jacket, carried my laptop bag into my room, sat
on the sofa and sighed with relief. It was good to be home with my loved ones. A few
minutes later, she is beside me, full of energy and talking my ear off. We do it every
evening. I loved to have someone to share my day and thoughts with.

She told me about her day. It was an exciting one with the family. I listened
intently and felt her infectious smile spread to me. My face brightened with a grin to
equal hers. I reached to her. She slid into my arms and said, “I love you.”

“I love you more!”

“Whose day is it?”

“It’s mine. It’s my day to love you more.”

“OK!” she groaned. “I love you too.” She was disappointed. She wanted it to be
her day to love me more.

I laughed and hugged her. What great joy she brought into my life. I was blessed.

Later, I stood in the kitchen and fixed a drink. She followed. Her arms wrapped
around my waist. “You haven’t gotten your hug yet?”

My arms circled her tiny frame. “You haven’t got yours either.” I squeezed her
tight and looked down into the bright blue eyes and smiling face of my granddaughter. “I
love you, little one!”

She giggled. “I love you too, Poppa.”

“I love you more, Elizabeth! It’s my day! HA!”

She held me tighter and then stepped back. “Poppa?”

“Yes?”

She stared up at me. Her face now had a serious expression. “Poppa, do my
hugs make your back better?”

I felt tears come to my eyes. The beauty of the child’s innocence was
indescribable “You know, Elizabeth, I think it does. Your hugs are definitely helping. I
can’t thank you enough. Can I have another one?”

She rushed to me, wrapped her arms around my waist again and squeezed tight.
“There! Is it helping?”

“Oh yes!” I held her tight. “It’s definitely working. My back feels better every
time you hug me.”

For two days, she hugged me whenever we met. I assured her my back got better
with each hug.

It was a small white lie …I thought. The days passed. My back did feel better.
The pain was there, but it didn’t bother me as much. It was overshadowed by a warm
ache in my heart – an ache caused by the love of a grandchild.

Michael T. Smith