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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: New Year (05/09/05)

TITLE: Dear Diary
By Chris Miller


January 1, 1994

Dear Diary,

Susan, my oldest, gave me this book for Christmas. She called it a journal, but that sounds
kinda fancy to me. She said that her counselor told her to write her feelings down, that it would
make her get through this grieving period. I donít know if Iím quite up to that, but Iíll give it a
try. Youíre going to have to bear with me; itís been a few years now since Iíve been in school,
and writing was never my thing.

According to that State Farm calendar over there by the frig, it appears to be a new year. It
sure seems strange not seeing Millieís appointments sprawled all over January. In fact, for the
first time in forty-five years of marriage, the page is blank.

Watching the ball drop at Timeís Square without Millie sitting across the card table playing
Scrabble last night was just plain empty. Even if she did always manage to land on those triple
point squares with the J or Z, I still enjoyed playing. Losing word games to her was the
best way to spend a quiet December 31st that I can think of.

Am I talking about my feelings yet? Iím not sure how this is supposed to work. Letís see...
Iím still holding a grudge against that Marge Benson at church. She sat next to me at the Golden
Agers lunch so she could comfort me. Humph! ďGeorge, you should be happy for Millie. Sheís
with the Lord. Iím sure youíre not selfish enough to want her back in this sinful world.Ē Then
she put her arm around me and kissed me on the cheek.

I held my tongue because my mama used to say, ďIf you canít say something nice, donít say
anything at all.Ē

I wanted to tell her, ďLook, Marge, you donít really know me. Iím a selfish old man, and Iíd
much rather have her back here with me.Ē I bet that would have shocked her socks off. Yes, sir,
that wouldíve caused quite a ruckus at the old folkís luncheon.

Iím not too excited about making any of those resolutions that people talk about. I donít care
if I lose weight or not, and I figure if I havenít given up smoking by now, itís not going to

I might be interested though in what the pastor had to say last Sunday. Rev. Foster was
talking about starting a Read Through the Bible program. Maybe I could tackle that. Millie
would be right happy, Iím sure. She always wanted me to read the Bible more. I just never
managed to have the time or gumption, I guess. She was the book worm in this duo, but I sure
enjoyed sitting in my rocker while she cuddled up on the sofa and read.

I know Iím rambling now, my friend, but it just feels hard to keep to one train of thinking.
You know, I donít even know who I am now without her. I donít know how that happens;
forty-five years ago, I wouldnít have guessed how much you can become a part of someone else
and she a part of you.

Funny thing, I wouldnít even mind her nagging me about wearing my old, orange
windbreaker out to dinner, or griping about the way I hibernate in the basement at my old desk. At least, I
could hear her voice one more time. I know that the kids made that video of her a week before
she died, but I just canít bring myself to watch it. I think it would just make me miss her all the

I need to be wrapping it up here. Iíll try to keep writing most days. Maybe the new year will
be better than I think. Millie always told me Iíd be OK, that God would be with me. She even told
me that I was the marrying type and should find me another wife. I canít quite imagine that now,
but maybe, in time.

Well, Diary, itís you and me. Happy New Year.

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This article has been read 718 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Kyle Chezum05/16/05
A very powerful story. I liked it!
Dixie Phillips05/16/05
Really enjoyed your story. Written with a lot of heart. So creative!
Val Clark05/17/05
Crusty, grumpy, self centred old man revealing a softer underbelly. Really like the characte and his rambling revelations.
Helga Doermer05/17/05
I liked the 'dear diary' approach in bringing the internal workings of the character to life.
Suzanne R05/20/05
How sad yet its a real description of life, I guess. I wonder, based on the date (Jan 1, 1994) if this is biographical? Whether it is or not, thanks so much for sharing this piece.