From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

October 19

My husband, Serge, and I faced each other across the pristine sheets of the hospital bed. The bogeyman of cancer was literally going to change the face of our lives.

Four-year-old Kate was happily cranking the foot of the bed up and down. The first of Daddy’s weeklong overnights in the hospital was an adventure to her.

A nurse popped her head in the door. “Time to go. Visiting hours are over.”

Kate stopped cranking the bed, took a quick look under it, then picked up her backpack from the chair and unzipped it. She carefully lifted out Mishka, a stuffed bear that had sat at the foot of Serge’s bed while he was growing up, and had been spruced up and given to Kate. “He’s a guard bear,” she said, and he always slept at the foot of her bed.

Kate whispered something in Mishka’s ear, hugged him tightly for a minute and then put him in her father’s arms.

“He’ll protect you in the night, Daddy,” she said,“whenever monsters come.”

Anne Metikosh

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