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Then This Happened, 2021.jpg
  • Tom Deaderick

Ethan's encouragement

“Okay,” Ethan replied. He’d thought about what he would say at this moment as he drove the small familiar roads toward home. He wanted to say something that would be encouraging, like the speeches from movies, where the leader pulls himself apart from the troops and reminds them why they fight. But all the things he’d thought about rang dull in his mind. There was no way to package all the things that could be lost—all the years they might spend together as a family, the closeness and calm of just being together. There was no way to package everything that was at risk into a charge that would strengthen resolve rather than diminish it. Now, doubt was the enemy. It could cause hesitation when action might save Leo. Ethan had finally decided that the simple feelings driving him were the best he could hope to convey to Leo. He’d just go with that.

“Ethan, I –”

“I thought a lot about what I wanted to say,” Ethan softly interrupted. “I wanted to be sure it would give you the strength and courage to win through today. I decided that all you need to know is all that anyone really needs to know—you are loved. I love you. Melanie loves you. We believe in you. Somewhere up there God’s watching. He’s surely watching you. If His eye watches a sparrow, you know He’s watching the first of His children to reach across the stars and take the history of our small corner with His message out to every race of the universe. I think He must be on the edge of his throne watching and thinking, ‘Finally! This moment has come.’ He loves you, Leo. You can be sure of that. If all you know in life is that you are loved, you can press through anything. You can bear anything. Don’t let them stop you.”


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