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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: In The Kitchen - deadline 7-19-12 @ 9:59 AM NY Time (07/12/12)

TITLE: Kitchen, Food and Faith


Shelia loved her new kitchen. For all of her 40 some years, she had never had a kitchen like the one she had now. Living in Ohio in a small suburb and surrounded by family and friends, Shelia loved to cook! Why, cooking was her middle name and those who knew her were well aware of her culinary talents.

Just two years ago, Stan her husband, bought her a brand new kitchen; complete with a huge frig that had a crushed ice maker, a lovely stove and a brand new dishwasher. With such a lovely new kitchen Shelia was inspired to create all kinds of food--from French pastries to Italian spaghetti and real French bread.

Life had been good with Stan and after 40 years of marriage she still loved being with him and there were a few who used to whisper in secret, “Those two have actually become one person! They are so close; it would be awful if anything happened to either of them.” Of course, Shelia heard those rumors and just smiled because she knew they were true but she also knew that one day, like everyone on this earth, she and Stan would die. So many times they talked about death and said that “they weren’t going to die unless they died together!” Of course, they knew the odds of that happening were slim and that men usually died before women but they continued to hold on to that way of thinking. That is until one hot day in August.

Shelia had just brought out a peach pie from the oven and it looked like a another winner, for sure. She laid it out on the kitchen table to cool and seconds later, Stan walked in and quietly walked to the living room. He sat down on his favorite recliner and looked like he had lost his best friend.

“Hi Honey. How are you? You look so tired. Can I get you anything?” Sheila was concerned about how worn out he looked.

He whispered as if there were no air inside of him and said, “No thanks, Hon. Just want to sit here and relax a bit.”

“Sure. I just pulled out a peach pie. We’ll have some for supper.”

Stan just nodded and said, “Sure. That’s fine.”

Later after supper they talked.

“Stan, you’ve hardly said a word since you got home. What’s wrong?”

“I have some bad news, Babe. Our doctor called me today concerning my test results last week. I have lung cancer and it’s advanced. I’m not going to be around much longer.”

Shelia began to cry. They talked and held each other for over an hour and that helped but still the inevitable hung over them like a dark and heavy cloud.

Then Sheila said, “Stan, you know from our faith in Jesus that you and I will not be alone during this time so let’s ask God for His guidance and healing.”

Sheila began praying, “Lord God, we come to you now, not in fear or in anxiety but in faith. We know that there is an end to life here on earth but that our real home is with you. We pray for your healing and guidance so that Stan can go through this procedure and no matter what happens, our trust will stay firm with you.”

Stan uttered a few words and said, “Yes Father. Show us the way and give us courage and strength.”

Sadly, Stan died several months later but he died peacefully and with faith and Sheila at his side. As for Shelia, she mourned his loss but looked forward to being with him in Heaven. She died six months later from heart failure and those who knew them both were confident that they were with Christ and His Father in Heaven. Together, once again.

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This article has been read 336 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mildred Sheldon07/20/12
Thanks you for such a tender faith filled story. It touched my heart. God bless.
C D Swanson 07/20/12
Amen. Both together with our Father in heaven for all eternity.

Thank you for sharing this touching story of love & faith...the glue of everyone's soul.

God Bless~
Barbara Lynn Culler07/23/12
Very poignant story.
Jenna Dawn07/24/12
This is a sweet story of a couple in love.

Your story would have come alive with more showing and less telling. Instead of "Sheila began to cry", you could say, "Tears welled in Sheila's eyes. It was as if a dagger had been pierced through her heart." SHOW us the emotion she is feeling at that moment. Let us see the tears flowing down her cheeks and feel the pain she is suffering.

You used a few exclamation points in the beginning. Using exclamation points when someone isn't actually yelling can make a writer appear more amateur than they are. Let your words speak the excitement you are trying to convey with the exclamation points.

Your story had a lovely message of trusting God and surrendering to Him, even in the midst of great suffering. Thank you for sharing it. :)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/25/12
This is a beautiful story about love and faith and hope. It warmed my heart. I've often heard about couples who have been together for such a long time, often when one dies the other follows within a year or so. I can't help but wonder if her heart problems were more along the line of a broken heart. Though you did say she still lived with gusto, confident that she would see him again in heaven.

My only suggestion might be to start with more of an attention grabber. About midway you have a like that says That is until one hot day in August. You might want to rephrase it a bit and have it be your opener. Something like Suddenly one hot August Day, Sheila's line of thinking changed abruptly. Then go into the details about Sheila and her husband.

Overall, I think you did a nice job of capturing a beautiful love story. It seems those stories are becoming less common with each passing year. I'm glad you wrote this story because it is full of wise advise and will inspire people to work for such a relationship.