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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write in the ROMANCE genre (04/19/07)

TITLE: Twilight Adoration
By Brad Paulson


Walt inspected his neck and chin in the mirror. The years had produced numerous wrinkles and folds making shaving more difficult than it used to be. Compounded by poor eyesight, grooming was much more of a chore these days, but Walt was willing to spend the extra time. He had a date with a princess. He wanted to look his best. Margie, his wife of forty five years was more than a partner. She had become essential to his being, and was by far his favorite dinner date.

As he dabbed his face with the towel he tried to envision the young man that had married that precious bride so many years before. Little evidence of his prior good looks remained. For a number of years he had enjoyed the features of a distinguished older gentleman, but unfortunately the aging process hadn’t stopped there. Paper thin skin and tiny broken blood vessels were his latest reward for so many years of living.

Youth was still alive and well in Margie’s sparkling eyes and perpetual smile. She had her senior moments like anyone, but for the most part, the years had been kind. Aging gracefully, Margie entered each season of life with her own brand of beauty. Walt often wondered how such a wonderful woman could have fallen in love with such a simple man. She did love him, without a doubt, but he often wondered why. Midway through their marriage, when the kids were off at college and they were adjusting to an empty nest, Walt wasn’t always kind. Margie was searching for a new sense of purpose in her life after motherhood had run its course. Busy with his career, Walt’s focus was elsewhere.

“Why can’t you just be happy? You have everything you could possibly want.” Those words haunted him although he had been forgiven long ago. He regretted not being sensitive to her needs, but Margie held no grudge. He didn’t deserve that kind of love and with their final years approaching he was determined to show her what a treasure she was. There would be many romantic dinners, walks in the park and time spent reminiscing.

Their future held some uncertainty. An appointment with his doctor a few weeks earlier had been very discouraging. There were still tests to take and evaluations to be made, but he knew what was happening. His memory loss had been increasing at an alarming rate. The doctors said that in time he would not be able to remember much of anything, and that he should start thinking about how his needs could be met as his Alzheimer’s worsened. The worst part was knowing that at some point he wouldn’t recognize Margie. He had seen it in his own family, his own father.

When Walt and Margie gave their wedding vows, it had never occurred to him that Margie would be the one to bear the burden of an illness suffered by him. It was so unfair. She had given so much through the years and now, when she deserved to rest and enjoy the twilight of her life, she was going to have to be his primary caregiver. She would take on that role just like she had taken on all the other roles she had played through the years, with grace and dignity.

A tear began to form in Walt’s eye. It was so damn unfair. There was nothing anyone could do. It was just a matter of time. The only thing he could do was love her with every moment they had left. She was a bit of a romantic, something he had not always reciprocated. But, there was some time left and he would make the most of it. He’d always thought that romance and passion were for the young, but time has a way of exposing such myths. He was more in love with his bride at this point in their marriage than he had ever been. While buttoning up his shirt he decided a neck tie was in order. Ties were never something he enjoyed, but Margie loved it when he dressed up. She deserved that much. She deserved so much more.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Sherrie Jackson04/27/07
What I like most about this is how the whole story is one simple scene, in one room with one goal - to get ready for dinner. I think the narrative flowed incredibly well and that you made the right choice in having it be all you needed.

There are quite a few entries this week dealing with Alzheimer's, but in this particular story I could imagine this was my grandfather. This could be him, this morning, knowing that in the near future his world of memories will come crashing down. You did an excellent job conveying this. Good luck!
Myrna Noyes05/01/07
Your title was perfect--so appropriate to your touching love story! I am always so impressed with accounts of long, loving, faithful, committed marriages, and I really enjoyed reading this! :)
Rita Garcia05/01/07
Definitely, in the right level...Masters. Superb from the title to the ending!