The Official Writing Challenge
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Date
10/17/08
Oh, so tender and lovely. You did an incredible job of showing the emotion and bringing us along with this family. Very well-written.
How tender and sad. You did a great job with this emotional story. My heart breaks for families trying to get through the first Christmas without their loved one. Great job.
10/20/08
Yes, this ones loosens the sinuses! Very touching. You captured the family's grief very well. The reverent scene at the end was beautiful. I do think, however, that the healing started before this quiet moment although it's still in the beginning stages. I also wanted a bit more background info. about Ben. I would assume that the family had no relationship with Ben. I felt that needed clarification, a connection. Very touching piece. Thank you!
Warm and tender.
Love,
Norms
I apologize for any confusion about Ben. I assumed I had enough in there to lead the reader to believe that this was an annual trip. The two men had developed a relationship through the tree business.

Moving family portrait. You drew the closeness of their bonds with clear details. Excellent job showing how difficult it is to do routine things when life is no longer routine. Nice job. :)
A very touching story. Well written - Good job.
10/23/08
I actually did cry with this one....excellently done, my friend. You nailed it with this piece! Very touching....nice work. :)
Your tender story is very well told. My heart broke for the parents.
This reminds me of the first Christmas after my stepsister died only 5 weeks earlier. The 1st is always the hardest.
This piece is to honor the memory of Rachael. She is the 2 yr old daughter of a friend who went to be with Jesus 9 years ago on December 4. While some of the details are fictional, the basis of this is fact.

I don't know why, but I couldn't get away from telling this story this year.