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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Writing a Letter (handwritten correspondence) (10/21/10)

TITLE: Forgiveness
By Tammie Smith
10/28/10


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The sun shines intensely through the window so intensely hurting my eyes. I turn away from the mesmerizing hills back to the stark white paper glaring at me. My mind screams "write the stupid letter", but my heart breaks at the thought of pulling the words from my heart.

I repeat, “Today, I will write this letter. It is only a letter. I can write this letter.” I have said the same thing many times in the past six months.

With a deep breath, I pick up my purple pen and write “Dear George”
“Is ‘Dear George’ the proper way to start this letter or should I write ‘Dear dad’?” I ask aloud to no one in particular. “No, I will not use ‘Dear Dad’ because I never called him dad. In fact, I do not ever remember saying dad in relation to him. He was my biological father. My dad is the man who raised me.

Laughter erupts through the house as my five-year-old daughter and my two-year-old son bounds through the door.
The letter is forgotten as I listen to my babies describe their adventures at the park.

The next day I pass the desk and see the beginnings of my letter on the table. I repeat again, “Today, I will write this letter. It is only a letter. I can write this letter.”

I pick up my pen.

My mind is suddenly full of questions.”Where do I begin? How do I write a letter to the man who was never there? What do I say?"

What if I write and tell him it was insensitive to call me the day after I buried my mother and tell me how bad he felt for the way he had treated her.

With disgust, I throw the paper and the purple pen into the trash. Pacing around the room, I stop in front of the mirror. I stare at the face in front of me. I see long straight sandy blonde hair; I remember him having the same color but his was curly.

I ask the small girl in the mirror who was hurt by her father staring back into my adult face "why did my friend want me to write this letter?"

I reply, “She thought it would heal my heart? All it is doing is making me angrier with him. I am not finding peace and love. I am finding hatred for the man who gave me life.

I continue walking around the house. I stop and look in on my sleeping babies. I cannot imagine not seeing or hearing their laughter every day. Therefore, I wonder how he has not tried to contact me for ten years. I stand there for a long time thinking of him. I remember riding in a dune buggy with him and his wife. I laugh as I remember riding the hot pink motor scooter around the circle. I remember seeing his face smiling. I remember seeing the pain on his face when I hesitated to hug him. I remember him taking me shopping and buying me anything I wanted. I know I took advantage of this, but I think he just wanted to make me happy. I remember swinging on the swing set he bought me. I loved my swing set.

With tears streaming down my face, I walk back to my desk.

I pull my purple pen back out of the trash, and find a clean piece of paper.

I write, “George, I am sorry I did not write or call in the last ten years. I am sorry never reached out to you. I am sorry I did not make the effort. Love your daughter”

I fold up the letter and put it in my bible. I did not write it for him. It was for me. I will write one for him one day. My friend was correct; I felt the hole in my heart start to heal.


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This article has been read 283 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/28/10
I could so relate to the MC. When my mom died I felt like my dad died that same day. It's been 17 years and although I've reached out to him, he prefers his new wife. You did an outstanding job describing the pain of the MC.
Rachel Phelps10/30/10
You did an excellent job describing the inner turmoil of your MC. Great pacing as well - good work!
Marita Thelander 10/30/10
Good job addressing the topic. My favorite line was: pulling the words from my heart.

red ink: I got hung up on words that could be contractions to show more natural conversation. If you read your entries out loud before you submit, it's easier to catch them. I used to struggle with this a lot. It also helps with word count. ;)

Keep writing and submitting to the challenge. It is an awesome avenue to pull the words from your heart.
Bola M. Eyinla10/30/10
I enjoyed reading your entry. Excellent job!
Catrina Bradley 10/30/10
My heart was breaking for your MC throughout this piece, but the ending made me feel better, as it did her. Good job with this story - a few minor glitches, but I enjoyed this story SO much!
Colin Nielsen 10/30/10
Such a beautiful story You have real inner conflict with your MC on something that almost everyone can relate to.
You have the same issue I have though: a few missed errors but I find people often tell me there is errors but do not tell me where so I can learn. I won't do that with you. But please don't be offended as I loved your entry.

The sun shines intensely through the window so intensely hurting my eyes. I turn away from the mesmerizing hills back to the stark white paper glaring at me.

I'd get rid of one of the intensely. Two in such a short sentence is not needed. Weakens the effect of both of them.

"write the stupid letter", but my heart breaks at the thought of pulling the words from my heart.

By far my favourite part. Such a descriptive piece of prose. Loved the image it gives in my mind: one of struggle, extreme effort. etc.

With a deep breath, I pick up my purple pen and write “Dear George”

"" indicate direct speech, not something written.

He was my biological father. My dad is the man who raised me.
You need a closing " for this piece of direct speech.

What if I write and tell him it was insensitive to call me the day after I buried my mother and tell me how bad he felt for the way he had treated her.

This is a Question so you need a question mark not a period.

I am not finding peace and love. I am finding hatred for the man who gave me life.

You need a closing "for this direct speech.

Anyway, that's all I could find on first glance. I'd need to mark it up on a hard copy to find the rest (if there are any more) Actually, maybe I should take my own advice and do that with my work. lol
Jan Ackerson 10/31/10
Very effective use of repetition in prose--I don't see that done well very often. Good job!
Nancy Sullivan 10/31/10
You did a great job of showing the MC working through years of agony over her "father", and you left your readers with the hope of healing,forgiveness and reconciliation.
Barbara Lynn Culler11/01/10
Isn't it amazing how therapeutice wroting those types of letters are?
Great job of showing.