Okay, I will give you forewarning. You may want a box of tissues. This was written on Sebastian's birthday, the first immediate family birthday without Analin to share it. So where this does not reflect the loss of a child, it does look at loss.
Here is my submission for this week's WWBH Prompt. <3
Bigger than the Ocean
The flag was bittersweet. Red with blood. White with hope. Blue with tears of both.
He defended the flag, then honored with it by his side before being lowered into the ground.
Cassie blinked up at the sky and waited for the choking pain in her chest to ease. Just a moment and it would be past. Just this moment of unbearable knowledge until it faded into the back of her mind again.
"Mommy!" Carter flung his warm body into her arms. She buried her nose into his thin shoulder, breathing in sand and sun. Kelsey refused to be left out and thrust her damp body between Cassie and Carter. Carter struggled for a moment to fight for his space.
"We share," Cassie reminded, proud the words didn't come out soaked in pain. With a quick shift, she had her children snuggled in. They were her saviors now her hero was gone.
The summer breeze was too tempting for the children to stay long. Kelsey began to wiggle first, but waited for Carter to be done, too. She had to do everything her big brother did, for just as long.
Off they ran, hands held. Carter knew he had to always hold on to Kelsey. They weren't allowed to go more than ankle deep into the water even though they wore their flotation gear. In fact--
With a strangled cry, Cassie pushed herself up from the sand and ran toward her children. She splashed in the water, covering them all in the salty water, hiding the self-made sea that dripped from her eyes.
Her children's laughter was contagious. It only hurt a little that Carter had his eyes, or that Kelsey laughed with his mouth. It hurt, but it also healed, knowing she still had a part of him in this world, the best parts.
Cassie gripped her children in a wet hug, covered them with salty kisses.
"I love you bigger than this ocean," she whispered fiercely. She knew she couldn't keep them safe forever, that one day they might want to follow in their father's footsteps to defend their own families and country. But today, today would be for laughter and happy memories. She would make sure of it.
"Not as big as the ocean, Mommy," Kelsey shook her head, drops of water balanced on the tips of her long lashes. "As big as Daddy."
Cassie gasped when her heart burst. She held on to these two amazing creatures with trembling limbs.
"Oh, yes, sweetheart. As big as Daddy."