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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Anniversary (04/11/05)

TITLE: The Anniversary Letter
By Dixie Phillips
04/11/05


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JoHannah Fleming scanned every bouquet of fresh-cut flowers in the sanctuary.

Her pastor gently touched her shoulder and replied, “JoHannah, I sure will miss John. If there’s anything I can do, please don’t hesitate to ask.”

“Thank you!” JoHannah choked. “The funeral service was beautiful, Pastor. Your words were just what I needed to hear. John would have been so proud.”

As the pastor turned to walk away, JoHannah’s thoughts overwhelmed her. ‘It can’t end like this, Lord! It’s our tenth wedding anniversary next week! It just can’t end like this!’

JoHannah had met the tall, dark and handsome John Fleming when they were teenagers attending church camp. There was an immediate connection. Even though miles separated them, they kept in constant touch via e-mail and cell phones. After their high school graduation, they attended the same college. Immediately after their graduation from college they were married. They wanted to start a family right away, but were unable to conceive. After many years of trying they sought professional help. The doctor suggested they both come in for a physical exam. It was then that they learned the news that would change their lives forever. John was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive type of cancer.

The days following the funeral were extremely difficult for JoHannah. Nighttime was the worst. Just as she would drift off to sleep, she would dream of John. Her anguished sobs would awaken her. She would stumble out to John’s chair and wrap herself in his favorite blanket.

Early one morning as she was nestled in John’s chair the phone rang.

“Hello!” JoHannah mumbled.

“Hello! Is this the John Fleming residence?”

“Yes, it is!”

“This is Noah’s Law Office and Mr. Noah has requested that you come in this morning around 10:00. He has some papers of your late husband that he needs to go over with you.”

“I will be there.” Hannah sighed.



“JoHannah, John made numerous visits to my office to assure that you were well taken care of after his death.” The lawyer began. “In fact, there’s a letter here that he has asked that you read before we begin.”

The grieving widow could barely believe her eyes. There was a sealed envelope with her name scrawled in John’s own handwriting on the front of it. She opened the letter and noted the date, June 7th!

“That’s today!” she gasped. “Our anniversary!”


My dearest Jo,

Today is our tenth wedding anniversary! Did you think I would forget? I could never forget you, Jo. Hasn’t God been good to us? We’ve had mostly joys in this life and now we are experiencing some sorrow. Always remember this, my dear one, that cancer may destroy my body, but cancer cannot destroy all the sweet memories we have made together, and cancer cannot destroy my soul!
Jo, I have taken a few liberties and I hope you will forgive me, but I cannot bear to think of you being alone. On the following page, you will find a picture of a baby boy. I have already had Mr. Noah draw up all the papers for us to adopt him. He is our son, Jo. He will help keep the nights from being too lonely for you, and you’ll always have a “man” around the house. I chose him for you, Jo, so you won’t be alone. I’ve contacted the Holt Adoption Agency and explained our situation. All they need is for you to sign a few papers. I have discussed this with your mom and dad, and have purchased three plane tickets to Korea for you and your parents to pick up our new son.
Jo, you must go on living life to the fullest, and our son will give you something to look forward to. Tell him about me, Jo. Show him my picture and tell him often what a special love his mommy and daddy shared.

You will be a wonderful mother, Jo.
Happy Anniversary, Love!

The proud papa,
John

JoHannah brushed the tears from her eyes. She looked at her lawyer and replied, “Show me where to sign. I’ve got a plane to catch. I’m going to be a mother!”


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Member Comments
Member Date
WENDY DECKER04/18/05
This was a nice story with a surprise ending. However, Johananna wanted to start a family with her husband. If I were her I don't know if I would have felt the same about that after he died. But that's just me.
Helga Doermer04/21/05
Certainly an unusual way to celebrate an anniversary. Touching.
Lisa Vella04/22/05
This is a very touching story. It seems a bit unrealistic, but sometimes that's what telling stories is about. Anyway, it flowed nicely and kept my attention. Nice job.
Maxx .04/23/05
How nice! Very good work!
Deborah Porter 04/25/05
Congratulations Dixie on your 2nd place win in both the Editor's Choice and Level 3 Champion Challenge. You weren't that far behind the 1st place winner - so very well done! With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)
Amy Michelle Wiley 10/17/05
I just recieved the FaithWriters' book, A Year of Celebration, and read this story. I just had to come tell you how much I enjoyed it! :-) What a special gift. I would love to hear a story from the fictional son's point of view.