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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: First (as in original) (01/10/05)

TITLE: What a First, What a Jackpot
By Carol Dee Meeks


He rang our doorbell on a cold December morning. With packages on each side of him and a collection of cards and letters in his hands, he yelled “Merry Christmas,” when I opened
the door.

“Thanks,” I replied as I reached for the parcels, and he turned and faded into our neighbor’s yard. One of the packages was addressed to Grandma and Grandpa Meeks. The package was
small but enticing. It felt soft like a paperback. We decided to open it on Christmas morning which was only twelve days away. This meant we’d be taking it to Memphis, Tennessee, since we
were going to our son’s home there. What a jackpot!

We opened the other packages. One was something we had ordered for our son in Memphis, and the other one was from my brother and his wife. We enjoyed the Christmas cards we received and wrote checks for two bills that came. There was a small packet addressed to me. With my letter opener, I cut the sealed edge and a check fell out. Inside was a certificate of award for second place in a poetry contest I had entered earlier in the year.

“Wow!” Pat said. He moved toward me and I fell into his arms. Our silence was interrupted by my sobs. Today was the fortieth anniversary of my mother’s death. Pat understood
before I even told him, this win for my writing was for my mom. This was a double jackpot.

We decided to go ahead and open our package from our two adorable grandsons. They are the smartest little boys this side of heaven, and especially this side of Colorado since that is where they live. It was wrapped in green tissue paper and the
oldest one had signed a Christmas card for us. Now he’s only three, but his name, T A N N E R, was plain and easily read.

“Oh!” I cried again. A picture fell to the floor. Pat reached down and picked it up. Our daughter-in-law had taken a picture of them in a snowman chair we gave Tanner his first
Christmas. Smiles covered their faces. They were precious in their matching red shirts.

“They look just like their daddy,” Pat said through tears
of excitement.

“Yes.” I whispered. “There’s more.”

He pulled the other contents from the package. The boys had painted us pictures on white potholders trimmed in black. Kim had drawn a black square, and they painted inside the square. Tanners’ picture was of a green truck with large black wheels. Tucker’s picture was an abstract one since he is only nine months old. Both pictures were masterpieces, one of a
kind, and a first for us. She signed their names and ages in the right lower corner.

Not only was this the first Christmas present from our grandsons, it was another gift (my poetry win) for my mom as well. Kim had no idea my mom died forty years ago on December 13. When she mailed these unique treasures to us, she had no idea they would reach us on this important date of my past.
What a day! What a jackpot! What a first!

I’m sure my mom looks down from heaven with a smile larger than ours. God is good! I’ll look at December 13, different from now on. This was
indeed a first, unique, Christmas gift.

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This article has been read 829 times
Member Comments
Member Date
darlene hight01/18/05
What a blessed testimony! Thanks for sharing. You did it well.
Debbie OConnor01/18/05
Great story. You brought it to life.
L.M. Lee01/19/05
God's great gift for turning "unlucky" 13 into a bountiful one!
Lynne Gaunt01/20/05
God has given you many reasons to thank him. Your grandkids sound like special blessings. Thanks for sharing.
Deborah Anderson01/22/05
Thank you for letting us in to share this wonderful experience with you. It was great. God bless you.