Chapter Thirty-nine

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Dear Daddy,

Do you remember Libby? That raggedy stuffed kitty that I insisted on dragging all over creation? Of course you do. I'm sure there were times that you cursed that poor cat's existence as you spent many a bedtime searching high and low for her, knowing that I would not fall asleep until my hands were wrapped securely around her. I've often wondered what happened to my dear old friend. I like to think that she found her way into the arms of a loving child. Or maybe, like the Velveteen Rabbit, she became real. I guess it doesn't really matter where she is, only that I remember every stitch of her little golden body, every secret we ever shared, and the way she made me feel when I held her. She added a unique color to the canvas of my childhood, creating a layer that changed me forever.

I still remember the night you tucked me in with the sad truth that my precious Libby was gone. I can see the look in your eyes as you moved your hand gently through my hair. I understand now how hard that must have been for you. You've always wanted to shield me from pain. You've always tried to protect me from the sins of the world. You've always shown me the one thing that every human desires and needs as much as breath itself—unconditional love.

It was those same eyes that stared down at me on Easter morning, as you stood bravely by my hospital bed. I wasn't able to acknowledge it then, and it's so fresh it pierces my heart still, but seeing your eyes and feeling your arms around me allowed me to fall away with the assurance that you would catch me. You've always caught me. And I know that as long as you're able, you always will. That's what daddies do. I always felt your love. And I know I always will.

I don't quite know how I managed to do it, but I have surrounded myself with loving, gifted men who are much better writers than I. The feelings and emotions that you expressed to me in your letter have haunted me for days and days. And it's with your honesty and Mathew's support that I now find myself sitting in a place I couldn't have imagined just a few weeks ago. I wandered off the path for a long time, but today I will plant my feet solidly back upon it with the hope that one day I'll be strong enough to make this journey again.

I love you the most,

BG


"You can go in now." The receptionist announced.

"Thank you."

Standing on shaky legs, Sunny quickly stashed the notebook and letter in her tote. She crossed the waiting room, stopping to take one last breath. Her heartbeat increased and the place inside her that once housed a little prince was now home to a thousand anxious butterflies. One hand rested warily on the doorknob while the other disappeared inside her pocket, rubbing the tiny silver heart with a gentle touch. I can do this.

Dr. McNichol looked up from behind her desk as the door to her private office opened.

"Good afternoon. I'm so glad you're here." Her greeting was genuine and she stood, offering a handshake and a smile.

"Good afternoon."

"Right on time. Please come in and make yourself at home." The doctor pointed toward the blue club chairs.

"Thank you."

"Coffee?" Dr. McNichol asked, making her way to the comfy seating area.

"I don't think so."

"You sure?"

"I'm fine, really."

"Katherine makes a mean cup of hot cocoa too, complete with a dash of almond if you're interested."

Sunny couldn't help but smile, immediately put at ease by the woman sitting directly across from her. Though they'd never met, Sunny felt a strange connection to her—the woman who'd help rebuild the person she loved most. For weeks she'd shared hours of intimate conversations with her husband, yet Sunny felt no pangs of jealousy. Many times she'd imagined him sitting in her office, reliving the scenes of an Easter morning that brought both immense joy and indescribable sorrow. And now, after much soul searching, she found herself in the very same chair where her husband sat week after week. Though she'd debated and questioned this meeting for days, he'd helped her find the strength to pull back the curtain that hid her deepest pain, allowing the first real rays of light back inside.

"A dash of almond?" Sunny raised an eyebrow.

"Mathew is a stickler for detail." Dr. McNichol grinned.


THE END


I sincerely hope you enjoyed this journey with Mathew and Sunny. Would love to hear your thoughts. Be sure to leave a comment and don't forget to vote. Wattpad rankings are solely determined by votes, so click that cute little star on each and every chapter before you go.

All best,                                                                                                                                                                                  Suzy

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