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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Winter (the season) (08/13/09)

TITLE: Sorrow in Winter
By Laura Manley


Grace pulled back the sheers at the living room window and peered out into the darkness. Her husband, Mark, had left over an hour ago, and she was beginning to get concerned. It had been snowing most of the day, and more than a foot of snow had accumulated in addition to the snow already on the ground. This had been the worst winter for four decades, according to official records.

Grace let her mind wander back to the argument that caused Mark to flee from their home.

“A divorce?” Mark yelled out. “Why?”

“Settle down, Mark. Let's sit down and discuss this calmly,” Grace responded.

“I'm not going to sit down and I'm certainly not going to be calm. You tell me you want a divorce and you want me to be calm?”

Grace and Mark's marriage had been on the brink of divorce ever since Mark lost his job two years previously. In Grace's opinion, he had become lazy and showed no desire of getting a job. She had lost respect for Mark. She wondered if she even loved him anymore.

As a result of their heated argument, Mark had grabbed the car keys and slammed the door as he went out into the cold, dark, snowy night.

When he didn't return soon after he had left, Grace became concerned and began thinking perhaps she had more feelings for Mark than she thought. Maybe they could work on their marriage – perhaps try counseling again. Certainly, the Lord would bless her decision and walk with her and Mark during this most difficult time.

Grace thanked the Lord for His steadfast love and began phoning friends who Mark may have reached out to in his agonized state of mind.. To her disappointment, no one had heard from him.

She went back to the living room and again pulled back the sheers only to be hit by despair as she watched the blowing snow. Grace became frightened for her husband. The weather conditions had certainly changed for the worse since he left.

Just as she walked away from the window, the telephone rang. 'Thank God,' she thought. She held onto the hope that it was one of their friends letting her know that Mark was with them. Better yet, perhaps it was Mark himself. She answered.


“Mrs. Mark Murray?” a deep-sounding voice asked from the other end of the line.

“Yes,” Grace answered. She knew it couldn't be one of their friends asking for Mrs. Murray.

“My name is Sgt. Pierce Thomas of the Stanton County Sheriff's Department. Is there anyone there with you?”

“No, Sir. What is this about?” responded Grace with panic now overcoming her.

“Mrs. Murray, there has been an accident involving your husband. He has been in a one-car roll over along Mills Creek Road. I am sorry to inform you that your husband did not survive that accident.”

The words of Sgt. Thomas repeated themselves in Grace's mind like a continuous recording, and seemed to become louder each time she replayed them. (I – am – sorry – to – inform – you – that – your – husband – did – not – survive – that – accident.) Over and over again, those words played in her mind.

How would she ever forgive herself for sending Mark out into the worst snowstorm in the County's history? The last thing Mark must have thought is that she no longer loved him. She wanted to scream – she wanted to cry, so why couldn't she? How was she going to get through this tragedy?

Grace fell to her knees and finally the tears came like none other she had ever cried. She cried out to the Lord and asked Him to help her. After several minutes in prayer, Grace was reminded of the Scripture in the Bible where the Lord promised her that He would never leave her nor forsake her. She felt at peace, but knew that it would take time to get through this. Grace also knew the Lord would be walking with her every step of the way.

Grace was sure of one thing; she would no longer live where the winters were as severe as the one they were experiencing at the moment. She would never go through another winter like the one that claimed her husband's life.

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This article has been read 536 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Charla Diehl 08/20/09
Good flow throughout this sad story. Felt the ending was tied up a bit too quickly and neatly, but liked this anyway.
Beth LaBuff 08/24/09
Oh, wow! A good lesson in being careful what you wish for. This was definitely heart-breaking. Keep writing!
Colin Swann08/25/09
I like your style of writing - you made this sad story very interesting. Thanks - Colin