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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Postcards (08/29/05)

TITLE: Between the Pages
By Julie Peterson
08/30/05


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It was early and the kids were not awake yet. I unpacked the final box from my mother’s estate when I found what I was searching for.

I opened the worn and tattered bible that Mother had pressed in my hands that final day. All the memories of our family devotions time came flooding back.

First to the days when my brother and I would argue about which side of the cereal box we got to read as it sat between us during breakfast, instead of listening to the Word as Mother lovingly read to us. Then, on to the days when we started following what she said, as it finally made sense to us. And further still, to the days when we left home to venture out on our own, realizing what a blessing those morning devotions with Mother had been.

I had never read my mom’s bible before. I had my own from our Sunday school class. I was intrigued by the love that was worn into the pages, or worn off of the pages, depending on the moment, I would guess. I lovingly turned the pages and something fluttered to the floor.

I reached down and picked up a postcard, as worn and tattered as the book that it was tucked into. The picture on the front was of blue-green water and white clouds, with just the word ‘Hope’ in the corner. I turned over the card and realized it was a note from my dad.

My dad had died in the Vietnam War. I was only 4 and my brother was 2. He doesn’t remember Dad at all, and I only have distant child’s memories of the times we spent together.

“My Love,

I pray that God is watching out for each of my precious ones at home. It seems like forever since we have been together, and I miss each of you. I miss seeing you. I miss holding you. But most of all, I miss praying together with you. Those mornings we would spend reading the Word while snuggled in bed are memories I cherish.

Will write soon.

All my love, Dan”

The date on the postmark was only 2 weeks prior to the date he was shot and died in the line of duty.

It was not until that moment that I realized what those morning devotions truly were. They were a legacy from my dad. Mother had never told us. She just tenderly kept sharing the Word each morning spending time with her Father, and the memory of our dad.

I tucked the precious card back between the pages, and called the kids down for breakfast. As they sat down and squabbled about which color glass each would get, I gently opened that old Book, and started reading to them, a small tear falling down my cheek every once in a while.


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This article has been read 825 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Paul Potenza09/05/05
I am a pretty tough guy and a former United States Marine and I defy ANYBODY not to get "misty eyed" reading your beautiful story. From the description of you and your brother arguing over the cereal box to the postcard fluttering to the floor to the final line of an occasional tear running down your cheek, it was beautifully written.

Pauly
Sandra Petersen 09/05/05
I agree with Paul, a very touching entry. I too liked the reference to the fight over who got to read which side of the cereal box. Brings back memories. How many moms will begin to share this kind of legacy with their children because of your words? Very good!!
Tammy Johnson09/05/05
Beautiful, touching story! You really captured real moments - one people can identify with. MY kids fight over which side of the cereal box they read. Super job! A shining first entry in the challenge!
terri tiffany09/05/05
A lovely story! Very real and personal.
Carol Adams09/05/05
Very powerful piece. It brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing it.
Phyllis Inniss 09/06/05
A truly touching story that brought tears to my eyes too. Your parents passed on a beautiful legacy.
Lisa Graham09/06/05
This piece is an achingly sweet story of the legacy of love.
Brandi Roberts09/06/05
A sweet and sad story. Well done. Thanks for sharing!
Jan Ackerson 09/07/05
Very, very lovely. Consdier moving up a level; this is beyond Beginners' work.
Anita Neuman09/08/05
Wonderful piece! You definitely need to bump up to intermediate.
Karen Ward09/09/05
Really really good. The tears are close. God Bless, Karen
Amy Verlennich09/12/05
Congrats dear! Great job! Blessings, Amy
Alexandra Wilkin09/13/05
I have a lump in my throat. So beautiful. God bless.
Deborah Porter 09/20/05
Julie, I'm only just getting a chance to pop around and leave some feedback on the Postcard entries, but wanted to make a point of saying, "Well Done!" on your 3rd place Level 1 win. It was well deserved, and believe me, you weren't all that far off making it into the Editors' Choice. The competition and standard of Level 1 entries during the Postcards Challenge, was very high - and you were definitely up there with the best of them. I was judging Level 1 for this particular week, and the only comment I wrote next to your entry was, "Quite lovely." It really was, and I encourage you to keep writing and rising to the Challenge! With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)