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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christmas Cards (11/06/08)

TITLE: If Only
By Debbie Kennedy


It was 1945 when they met the war had just ended he was in his uniform and she was in a baby blue gown that matched her eyes. He watched her dance with one man after another while he was trying to get his nerve up to ask her to dance. When he saw her sit down he knew this was his chance. He carried a glass of punch over to her as she took the punch he looked into her eyes and knew one day she was going to be his bride. That night was magical as they danced the night away.

A few short months later they were married. Their first Christmas they did not have money for gifts, she knitted him a scarf to keep warm and he gave her a beautiful Christmas card. After he opened his scarf he felt bad about only giving her a card. She cried and told him no gift could ever be more precious than the card.

The years have come and gone they now have children, grandchildren and great grand children. Their life has been blessed she knew she had so much to thank God for, however her heart was heavy with grief and she was finding it hard to be thankful, it had only been four short weeks since he passed away, four weeks before Christmas. A memorial service was held for him with everyone sharing all their wonderful memories of him. He made it clear he did not want a sad funeral, after all he had finally finished his journey here on earth and was going home. He told her not to let those baby blue eyes cry for long to just remember the happy times they had together and he would be waiting for her to join him soon. Yet here she sat the week before Christmas, crying and missing him so much thinking about their first Christmas when all he had to give her was a card. Every year after that no matter what else she got he never forgot to give her a card. Well there would be no card this year but she knew what she would do. She had saved all his cards over the years after all the family leaves Christmas evening she would get the box down and start reading. He always wrote love notes in them, If only she could hold him one last time. If only she could have just have one last Christmas card from him. There is no more time for grieving now Julie and her two daughters were expected today to help get the house ready for the whole family to be there for Christmas. Everyone but him, she said a silent prayer for strength to get through. She must be strong for their family it is what he would want her to do.

Christmas day came and the big house was full of laughter, tears and love . At times she could not help but feel that he was still there with them until she would hear one of the children or grand children speak of him in the past tense. As the gifts were being exchanged, her oldest son came to her and handed her an envelope. When she looked down to see it she noticed it was a card in his hand writing. She looked up at her son in confusion and with tears in his eyes he said dad knew he would not live long enough to give this to you so he gave the card to me and told me to give it to you today. She opened the envelope and read the word on front of the card that said Merry Christmas to my lovely bride. She froze in time so many years has come and gone and so has her beloved husband. She could not force herself to open the card not while the family was still there, after all this would be her last card from him, she wiped the tears from her eyes, placed the card in the pocket of her apron she would wait until she could be alone to read this one last Christmas card.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Marita Vandertogt11/13/08
Lots of feeling for the reader in this story. I found the sentence structure just a little distracting, but the story is good. The ending wrapped it up nicely.