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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Family Home (05/29/08)

TITLE: Family Dreams
By Kim Clendenin


Tears rolled unchecked down Olivia’s cheeks.

She sat in her car, in front of her old family home. It had been a home full of love and laughter.

Her heart was so heavy. She would give anything if her parents could be at her wedding. She missed them so much. They had been killed in a car accident while she had been away at college.

In order to pay for estate matters and costs of the funeral, she had been forced to sell the house.

Now it sat empty and unloved, as if it too were weeping for the loss of family.
The windows were all broken. Paint was peeling and the shutters hung precariously. The roof was caved in on the north side like the hole in her heart, from the loss she could never get back.

She had always dreamed of buying it back, but there was never enough money. And now, it would cost a fortune to restore it anyway.

Brushing away her tears, she started the engine and pulled slowly away.

One dream was lost and another was about to begin. She had a wedding to plan.

One day Olivia had been visiting Carl‘s parents, when she noticed an old pocket watch displayed in a shadow box on the wall.

After inquiring about it, Mr. Briggs said it belonged to his grandfather.
“It now belongs to Carl,” he said.

She suddenly had an idea. Unsure of how Mr. Briggs would feel, Olivia hesitantly asked, “Mr. Briggs, Can I take the watch and have it restored as a wedding gift for Carl?”

He looked surprised, but quickly opened the box, took out the watch and handed it to her with a big smile. “What a beautiful idea. I would love to see it restored and I am sure Carl would be over joy.”

Two weeks latter, it was wrapped lovingly and stored securely in her suitcase.

It had cost her nearly half her savings to have it restored. But it was worth it. She was so proud of it and couldn’t wait to give it to Carl tomorrow after their wedding.

The final rehearsal went perfectly. Everyone felt comfortable that all was ready for tomorrows wedding.

Olivia was still a little nervous. They had both prayed for God’s blessing on their marriage. Secretly Olivia had prayed that God would give her a sign that he approved of their marriage.

Suddenly Carl announced to the guests that he would like to give Olivia her wedding present.

He handed her and 8 x 10 vanilla envelope. With surprise she took it from him.

She pulled the pink ribbon from around the package and reached inside, pulling out several sheets of paper.

With a curious smile, she looked at Carl, “Honey, what is this?”

“Your dream.” he said.

“What do you mean?”

“It’s the deed of trust to your old family home, just waiting for your signature”.

“What!” she gasped in amazement.

She looked at Carl. Tears quickly pooled in her eyes. Shaking her head she jumped into Carl’s arms. Tears of joy flowed freely as she held him tightly. She was too overwhelmed to speak. Finally she loosened her grip on him enough to lay her wet cheek against his “Oh Carl, I love you, thank you!” she whispered feverishly.

She finally stood back to look him, “How?” she asked, knowing Carl’s construction business had been slow this year and money had been tight.

“I sold my antique Harley to pay for the house. And my parents have offered to pay for the cost of supplies for the remodel, as their wedding gift to us. Since I can do all the work myself, the house is free and clear.” he said smiling with love shinning in his eyes. “And then it will be our family home.”

Olivia was awestruck at the sacrifice he had given up for her. He had spent years restoring that bike.

She started shaking her head in denial.
Carl laid a finger upon her lips. “I love you more than I love that bike,” he said.

Everyone began to applaud, reminding Olivia they were not alone. All their friends and Carl’s parents had tears in their eyes as well.

Olivia laughed with uncontrolled happiness and mentally thanking god for the sign she had asked for.

And hopefully, tomorrow Carl would receive his sign from God.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Yvonne Blake 06/05/08
Ahhhh...beautiful! What a wonderful gift. I like how you included dialogue. It made the story more realistic. (I hope it was a true story.)