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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Summer (the season) (07/09/09)

TITLE: Summer of '64
By Norma-Anne Hough



Abigail had slept badly. The wind had blown throughout the night, at times, she thought it might take the roof off such was the force.
The sea had been as noisy, with the waves crashing against the rocks.

“Are you an angry as what I am?” She whispered snuggling deeper into her duvet.

Summer storms accompanied by high seas were quite natural, but the one last night had been a real “baddie.” The rain had begun to fall at the break of dawn, the wind had moved up the coast and the sea began to calm down.

Sitting at her bedroom window, she surveyed the damage done to the garden, and the beach across the road. She felt dead, her heart heavy within. As she sipped her coffee, she allowed her mind to wander.

The sun was high in the sky, a gentle breeze was blowing and the waves were perfect for the surfers. Abigail paddled out and was waiting for the “perfect ride.”

“Do you know Jesus?” He had asked.

“WHAT?” She shouted back at him.

“You heard me.”

“You’re mad!” She had replied and turned to take the next wave.

Her concentration messed up; she took the wave too late and was dumped. Now thoroughly angry she went ashore.

“Sorry, I distracted you.” He said pulling his board out behind her.

Turning to take a proper look at him, her heart stopped. Tall with dark hair, which hung on his shoulders, was one of the “coolest guys” out.

“Hi, I’m Brendan” he said, holding out his hand. His deep blue eyes sparkled with mischief.

“Pastor Brendan I presume.” She had laughingly replied.

They had sat on the beach for hours. He told her how he had been a Christian all his life and had felt the call to minister to the surfers, hippies and beach bums. She had never been to church and frankly had thought Christians boring. He then had invited her out to a meeting that evening, and that meeting had turned her life around.

Soon her whole family, seeing the change in her had made commitments to Jesus. As summer began to fade, they had married on the beach, surrounded by their families and many of the young people they had led to Jesus.

Both of them became very active in the ministry to the surfers and their followers. They followed the surfing circuit and won many souls for Jesus. The twins, Tracey and Dylan arrived on the scene, and they were forced to settle.

Jeffrey’s Bay, or JBay as it called by the surfing fraternity, seemed the right place. They had built a beautiful home on the beach and had lived happily there for the past forty-five years.

She heard her bedroom door open quietly. Turning around she saw
Dylan walking in with his coffee, closely followed by Tyler, clutching panda bear.

“Quite a storm last night” he remarked, bending to kiss her.

Tyler climbed onto her lap and snuggled close. Looking up into Dylan’s eyes, she saw the tears glistening.

“I don’t know how I am going to get through today.” He said.

Holding his hand tightly, she was unable to reply immediately.

“God will strengthen us all and give us courage. Dad is at peace, no more pain or suffering. He is with the One he has always loved and served. He had no fear of death, only the thought of leaving us all behind saddened him. Summer was always our best season. We loved the crowds, the surf and the happy vibe.”

The door opened again, Tracey came through with her husband Tom and baby, Kirsty.

“Morning all.” Tom greeted them. “Tyler come with Kirsty and me, we’ll leave daddy here with gran and Tracey.” Taking the children Tom left, allowing Abigail time alone with Tracey and

Both children knelt by her side, taking their hands she began to pray:

“Gracious Father.
Thank you for Brendan’s life and his example. Give us the courage this morning as we go down to the beach for our final farewell. We know he is in a better place, but the pain is still too hard to bear.”

Unable to continue, she allowed her tears to flow freely.

“I love and miss you. Thank you for precious memories.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Mary McLeary07/18/09
There is beauty with the sadness of your story. Loved the setting and the purpose of the parents. The transition from past to present was a little confusing, but you definitely made your point and showed a life well lived for Christ.
diana kay07/18/09
Oh what a sad story! Well told but the title was confusing . The summer of 64 presumable refered to the firdt part of the story. My only hopefullly constructive criticsm as I was drawn into the story and felt the emotions quite powerfully.
Mildred Sheldon07/18/09
What a beautiful but very sad story. It pulled me in and I felt the pain of all the people involved. Thank you for sharing such tenderness and a very loving God.
Norma-Anne Hough07/19/09
Sorry for not distinguishing between the past and present. I know I shoud have, but was in a hurry to get my entry in and didn't check it thoroughly. Thanks for the comments so far.Norms
Seema Bagai 07/19/09
Well-written story filled with memories and emotions. Good job.
Carol Slider 07/20/09
A sad story, with much heartfelt emotion. Thanks for sharing this!