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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Father (as in paternal parent, not God) (04/10/08)

TITLE: Little One
By Lauryn Abbott


My Dearest Little One,

If youíre getting this letter, it means Iím not coming home. Iíve asked your mommy to hold it for you until you are old enough to understand. We met once, though you donít remember. That was the best day of my life. Itís one of the memories that helps me get through this awful time. To think that I wonít be there for you and watch you grow up breaks my heart, because I love you very much.

I know it will be difficult for you to understand why I had to leave you and your mommy. I didnít want to, but I had to. It was my duty and my honor. You see, when you were born, our country was at war. And war is a terrible thing. But sometimes we have to go through something terrible for a greater good. Itís hard to explain what could seem to be more important than my family, but Iíll try.

Our country was built on the belief that all people should have the right to freedom in life. Many places in the world donít have freedom. I had to go help another country try to gain their freedom, from awful men who ruled over them harshly. You see, it was important not only to them, but to us too. Those who hate freedom, hate America and everything it represents. They try to hurt our country and kill our citizens whenever they can. We couldnít allow that to happen.

To give my life for the cause of freedom is a choice Iím honored to make. The end result is kind of like me giving my life so you can continue to live. There are worse things than dying for a good cause. Like living without honor and principles and courage.

Itís impossible to say everything I want to in a letter. How do I help you to grow up into an amazing young woman who will change the world? Unfortunately, most of that responsibility will rest on your mommyís shoulders. But knowing her, I have no doubt that she will do a fantastic job.

In this life there are many kinds of people. There are givers and takers. Always be a giver. Give extravagantly of your time, love, friendship. Guard your heart from the takers. Stay close to Jesus, for He will always be near to you. Show kindness to others and always be courteous. Work hard and do well in school. Have goals for your life. Obey your mommy, she really does know whatís best for you and loves you very much. Walk in integrity and strength of character. Stand up for what is right. Love your country.

Have fun! Enjoy your life. Laugh a lot. It really does you good. Take time to watch the sun set and admire the beauty of Godís handiwork. Walk barefoot in the grass. Dance in the rain, as well as the sun. Admire the rainbow and remember Godís promise. Be aware of the wonder of nature. Listen to the sound of the ocean. Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.

Donít fear the storms in life. They come and they go. Adversity helps us grow stronger, and the brightest of days often follow the darkest of nights. Dream big and pursue your passions. Donít be afraid to fail, it is the only way to succeed. Be a leader of your peers, not a follower. Live your life on purpose.

One day you will meet someone very special get married. Wait for him and keep yourself pure for your wedding night. It really will be worth it. Donít give in to peer pressure. You are stronger than you know. Donít settle for the frogs because you have a prince out there, who has been hand picked for you by God Himself.

Little One, knowing you has made me a better person and soldier, even if we only met once. I wish I could have come home to you. I wish I could have held you and your mommy in my arms one more time. You have every bit of my heart. Though Iím not with you in this life, Iíll be with you in eternity. One day weíll meet face to face and weíll never have to be apart again. I look forward to that day.

With all my love,

Your Daddy

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This article has been read 688 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ladonna Sweet04/17/08
wow, what a powerful letter of love and courage from this young soldier, makes be believe that you are the one the letter was given to, and if not you sure drove home the meaning of love and sacrifice. Tears are coursing down my face as I write this. Fabulous Job. God Bless
Tim Pickl04/17/08
Absolutely beautiful. I pray many soldier's orphans read this and are encouraged.
Jan Ackerson 04/18/08
A very sweet and timely message that will be especially meaningful to anyone who knows a soldier.

My only comment: Try to add something that will make your "letter from war" different from any that's been done before--to make yours more memorable. Beware of cliches!

A child would be very blessed to receive a letter like this.
Patty Wysong04/19/08
A beautiful letter for a daughter. Soldiers are near and dear to my heart...
Chely Roach04/21/08
Gorgeous. Sweet. Melancholy. Well done.
Gerald Shuler 04/21/08
This is a wonderful writing technique in that you wrote for an audience of one and captured the entire patriotic free world. I agree with Jan, though. Beware of cliches. Just replacing worn out phrases would make this already powerful piece totally unforgetable.
Janice Cartwright04/22/08
Beautiful heart of an outstanding father revealed in his letter to his daughter. The thought crossed my mind of writing about a soldier father, but now I'm glad I didn't. It wouldn't have been this good, and this story needed to be told with the excellence in which you framed it. Beautiful message and writing.
Joshua Janoski04/22/08
What a sad and yet beautiful story. I had tears in my eyes as I read it. I really think that writing it as a letter was the perfect format for this particular story.

Thank you for sharing. :)
Mandy White04/23/08
Tracy, this was beautiful. If every child who has lost a father in the war could have a special letter like this, it would be a priceless treasure.
LauraLee Shaw04/23/08
This was a tender and beautiful letter.
Sara Harricharan 04/23/08
So beautiful! I can't think of what to say that will sum it up more than that. It hit close to home with the tender, heartfelt voice and the fatherly advice. I loved it-hands down. Awesome writing. ^_^
Laury Hubrich 04/23/08
This is a very nice piece and so very timely. Great job!
LaNaye Perkins04/23/08
Beautifully written story. I couldn't stop the tears. You did an excellent job of grabbing my heart.

As the mom of a son and daughter-in-law who both served in Iraq, I commend you for your heartfelt entry. Well done!
Chely Roach04/24/08
Congrats on your win...see you up in advanced!
Sheri Gordon04/24/08
Congratulations on your 3rd place. This is very touching, and written very well. Nice job.