Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Adulthood (07/30/09)
TITLE: Blessed peace
By Julie Prim
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It wasn't really the autumn air she was reveling in, but the candles she had burning that smelled like pumpkin and apple cinnamon. The warm and inviting smells she would always associate with the turning of the season. Summer would be giving way to shorter days and cooler nights, and so would begin her favorite time of year. This had been her first year out of school and in front of her own class. She had been so nervous at first. New kids. Would they like her? Would they form the same attachments with her as she had with her third grade teacher? She wanted to go down as Miss. Chandler, "my favorite teacher," in her young students' memories.
Now that she had been at it for two months, she felt like she had stayed awake nights worrying over silly things. Now she worried about whether Sawyer was getting the care he needed at home. Or whether Madison was being helped to deal with her parents' divorce. At the same time, she thanked God every night for putting these young ones in her life and her care, even for just a short time, asking him to help her help them in whatever way they might need it. And though they still stayed on her mind, she was able to drift off to sleep knowing that God knew what was going on and would use her if He could. What more could a girl ask for?
Halloween turned to Thanksgiving and not only were the kids restless and excited about the holidays, but she found herself enjoying the season even more than usual. She had plans to go to Camden's family's home for Thanksgiving dinner, and knew that was part of the reason for her feelings of contentment and excitement. She and Camden had been together for the past three years. First as friends, and then as more. She loved and adored him and his family and felt so blessed to be able to spend this time with them. She almost felt as though his Mom was hers as well. Mrs. Wright called Mary Ellen at least once a week to check in on her and her students, listen to her worries, and share her optimistic opinions. She had helped her through many a crisis that didn't really turn out to be such a crisis after all.
That evening before dinner, they went around the table taking turns telling about all they were thankful for. She used to despise being put on the spot like that, but now she was so grateful for all she had, she felt honored that she could share these moments and herself with them. Everyone took turns around the table, and when it got to Camden, he pushed back his chair and knelt down beside hers. He had looked up into her eyes and took her fingers in his large, warm hand. With watery eyes that looked straight into her soul, he said "Mary Ellen, the day I met you I knew God had answered my prayers. Now I just need you to do the same. Will you do me the honor of letting me love you and serve you as your husband for the rest of my life?" She remembered the hugs all around, the feel of the narrow Platinum band and the diamond that felt both foreign and right on her left ring finger. From that Thanksgiving on, she had a new item at the top of her list. Her Camden. She was now married to her best friend. That was the beginning of the rest of her life. The beginning of her new extended family and then a few years later, her own.
Now, as she lay here thinking back to that beginning, she felt so blessed and completely at peace. She was ready to be wrapped in the arms of her Camden once again. A single tear, a happy tear, slid from her closed eye lid as she drifted into the warmth. And around her the hums and the beeps had stopped. It was quiet. All was at peace.
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