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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christmas Cards (11/06/08)

TITLE: The Generational Message
By Beckie Stewart


The summer dragged slowly by with temperatures unbearable to endure the outdoors many days. Autumn drifted by even slower, and the pain hadn’t subsided in Marcy’s heart. As the Thanksgiving holidays passed and Christmas approached, Marcy remained broken. She sort of believed time healed, but comfortably settled into hopelessness, as her agony stayed fresh in her mind.

Marcy thought decorations might uplift her spirit but discovered motivating herself to venture into the attic to retrieve them impossible. Instead she grabbed her large down comforter, wrapped it tightly around herself, and plopped onto her couch.

“Lord, it hurts so much,” she prayed for the thousandth time in the last six months. “I don’t know how to move past my hurts.”

Marcy silently waited, unsure of what she expected to happen. She allowed the tears from the depth of her soul to pour forth again. “Time does heal all wounds,” her friends constantly reminded her, but she sensed nothing of the kind.

Marcy despised life without her father. As a small child, she knew he loved her, and she peacefully rested in the assurance of his faithful love for her. She missed the sound of his voice when they had their weekly calls of catching up with one another. Life seemed meaningless without him.

Half of the year passed, and Marcy still found herself unable to go through the boxes of things her uncle helped her pack from her father’s home after the funeral. She finally decided to look for her father’s Bible and hoped some answers came to help her want to live on.

After digging through several boxes, she found the item she knew her father cherished. Its tattered covering resembled a book that was often read. Tucked within the pages, notes her father wrote remained where he had left them. Marcy discovered as she opened the pages to Luke’s account of the birth of Christ a Christmas card.

The ragged resemblance of a poinsettia pictured on the front dated this card as something her father saved for many decades. As she opened it, Marcy found it dated the year she turned two. Her grandmother’s signature appeared at the bottom the card and twisted Marcy’s aching heart. She never knew her grandmother because she died several months before Marcy’s third birthday.

What popped out on this card was the beautiful hand-written note on the opposite side. For the first time Marcy read the message her grandmother inscribed to her father that Christmas.

“Dear Bill. I know that as the holidays approach this year that you’re sad about your impending divorce. I’m concerned that you might feel your life isn’t worth living. I wish to remind you that only three days after Christmas you’ll celebrate your precious baby girl’s second birthday. Bill, she is your reason for living. Please don’t ever forget that. Love, Mom.”

I realized that my dad felt my life gave him reason to move on through his pain. From my grandmother’s message, I heard her say to me, “Marcy, even in pain and loss, life’s worth living for the love of others.” I knew now, time eventually healed when we learned to risk and love again.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 11/13/08
Wow! Love this. I now have goosebumps. Very good. I was instantly caught up in it.
Marlene Austin11/14/08
Good job drawing the reader through the wide range of the MC's emotions. :)
Angela M. Baker-Bridge11/17/08
What a nice twist on the topic. Very moving! Well told.