I take my time to check on each of my children before I finally make my way to the master bedroom. The bedside lamp is burning on my side of the bed, just like always. Jessie makes sure she keeps that on for me and it never fails to make me smile.
I get undressed quickly and climb into bed and I barely have time to pull the cover up before Jessie turns to me. Her warm body wraps around mine and her heat seeps into me. I hold her close, breathing her in as my heart pounds in my chest.
There was a time in my life when I prayed for death. I did everything I could to make it happen, because I couldn’t end it myself. I thought I was too weak, but now I know.
It’s not weak to live, to survive. That’s the hardest thing to do, the biggest challenge. But I owe Roman everything. He helped me find myself again and in doing that, I was able to find Jessie.
The other half of my soul.
I fought a war and somehow I survived. I did that to get to the other side, and life here… Life here is sweet. The sweetest there ever was.
“I love you, Allen,” Jessie whispers, kissing my shoulder. Her voice is thick with sleepiness.
I reach down and kiss her on the head and squeeze her.
“I love you too, Mouse,” I murmur.
I let my hand drift down to hold my wife’s stomach and I can feel my little girl kick against my palm. This will be our last child. I want time to enjoy our lives together and our grandchildren when we get older, but I also want time with Jessie. I want a house full of children and grandchildren, but still so in love with each other that we spend each day together as if it were a precious gift.
“Quit worrying. Our little miracle will be here before you know it,” she whispers, putting her hand on top of mine.
She’s right. She reminds me of that every day. She takes time to count every miracle we’ve been given, and we have a lot of them.
“When did you know miracles existed, Mouse?”
“I didn’t, Allen,” she answers, leaning up to look at me, her eyes wide open now and staring at me with so much emotion they glow. “I had no idea,” she says. “Not until I began to believe in heroes, not until you.”
My eyes close as I take my wife’s mouth and kiss her with all the love I have in my heart.
She constantly calls me her hero. I make the world’s most unlikely hero, but when it comes to Jessie, I’d do anything for her.