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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Memory (07/10/08)

TITLE: Evidence of Mirth Remembered
By Dee Yoder
07/12/08


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The light was on in the bedroom, and the bed was neatly made. Someone had left a paperback book God’s Promises, lying on the pillow next to mine, someone who didn’t know which pillow was mine and which had been Jim’s.

I placed it carefully on my pillow and sighed. Maybe it would help me if I read some of God’s promises right before I went to sleep. I didn’t know. I’d never been a widow before, and I had no idea what would help me. Nothing had helped me so far.

I walked to the closet and flipped on the light. My clothes looked bereft somehow, as if they were as depressed as I was about what had happened to us. I glanced down and saw Jim’s clothes neatly folded and packed in a box. They looked bereft, too.

I knelt and took his blue Cleveland Indians’ t-shirt off the top of the stack. I smelled it, and though it’d been washed clean when I’d hung it in his closet a few days ago, I imagined his scent still in its folds. I closed my eyes, and the memory of our day at the ballpark during our honeymoon, when he’d bought this shirt, came to me instantly.

I could see his dark hair and chocolate brown eyes…I could see his smile and the shy boyish look he threw my way as we watched “our” team play ball...I could see his hand, pencil gripped tightly, racing along the page of the ballgame program, trying to keep track of all the stats. He’d loved his stats.

I smiled as I folded the shirt gently and placed it on the floor beside the box. Next I handled the heather gray sweater I’d bought him on our first Christmas together.

I remembered how special that Christmas had been, not only because we’d just been married six months, but also because we’d discovered the week of Christmas that our son was on the way. What a miracle that had been to us! Since we were both in our mid thirties, the idea of a child had been a dream…a faint hope and then…the stick was blue!

I remembered the look on his face when he’d unwrapped this sweater. He was delighted to see the color was gray, and not “baby” blue, as I’d teased. He was always fighting my attempts to brighten his wardrobe. “I’m a geeky guy, Hon; I don’t wear colors.”

I chuckled as I laid the soft sweater on the t-shirt. The crisp white dress shirt I saw next brought back the memory of that day we took our baby son to Jim’s office to show him off for the first time. Everyone had been so glad for us and especially for Jim. They’d known him for years as a lonely bachelor, and they’d agreed; our son was a miracle child!

I came to the shirt with the logo on it of the new baseball field at Cleveland. Jim had laughed when he’d told me its nickname…the Jake. Later that summer, as we’d driven past it on our way to the Cleveland Clinic, Jim had been very frail. The cancer had taken its toll and he had strained to lift his head to get a glimpse…just a glimpse, of the field. His oncologist had promised him a good seat for the play-offs if he was well, but Jim didn’t get to go. He’d gone, instead, to Heaven by the time his favorite team played in the World Series.

I pressed the beloved shirt to my face and let it soak up the tears the memories brought. My heart was broken…I missed him so, but the laughter we’d shared was still vivid.

One day, he’ll run to greet me in Heaven, his brown eyes shining and his lips smiling…the evidence of mirth remembered lighting his face forever.


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This article has been read 866 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Emily Gibson07/17/08
Heartbreaking and bittersweet, with the "evidence of mirth" a lovely coda to this story.
Lynda Schultz 07/17/08
Hauntingly beautiful. One suggestion: All but one of the paragraphs begins with "I" — it might be good to vary that a bit more. Well done.
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/17/08
Beautiful haunting memories. I love the hope at the end. This is a winner for me.
Sara Harricharan 07/18/08
Gave me goosebumps just reading it. Tender and heartfelt with a few bittersweet notes. So well done, thanks for sharing such precious words. ^_^
Venice Kichura07/19/08
This touched my heart! You did an excellent job of recapturing memories of a beloved spouse.
Joanne Sher 07/19/08
I wonder if I know whose this is...So tender, and such wonderful descriptions. You brought me to tears. Excellent.
Sheri Gordon07/20/08
Oh Dee, this is wonderful. You did an excellent job of putting the reader in that room with you. It's so hard to get all the emotions across in a true story, but I think you nailed it. Super.
Joanney Uthe07/20/08
What a powerful story. You capture the emotions so well, they seem still raw. Thanks for sharing such a difficult memory.
Lyn Churchyard07/21/08
Beautifully tender, filled with so much love. This brought tears to my eyes as I read it and even now, the lump remains in my throat. Thank you.
Melanie Kerr 07/21/08
I liked the way that she found comfort in the clothes he wore rather than in the book of promises on the pillow! Beautifully written.
Elizabeth Hexberg07/21/08
This is real and evident by the phrases,'imagined his scent' and 'beloved shirt'.I remember how sad I felt when the scent of my husband was no more. Beautiful, heartfelt writing.Thank you and God Bless. Elizabeth.
Tim George 07/22/08
Most vivid recollections Dee. Over 20 years ago my wife had two brain surgeries. We didn't know if she would live or die for several years. Someone also gave us a God's Promises book. I will never forget it. I found it interesting that you keyed on smells calling up memories. Very good writing!!
Mariane Holbrook07/23/08
Did you issue a Kleenex warning with this, Dee? It's so tender and beautiful it hit many buttons on my emotions. So sensitively written. Kudos!
Deborah Engle 07/23/08
Such heart-warming memories to look back on. How well you've expressed the feelings of grief, mingled with the little things that will be forever precious.
Loren T. Lowery07/23/08
This is so sweet and real that I lived the memory with your MC. Such memories cause the heart to ache...I'm so glad you ended it as you did!
Betty Castleberry07/23/08
This is so touching. You made me feel what your MC was feeling, which, of course, is the mark of a good writer. This is very nicely done. Thumbs up!
Yvonne Blake 07/23/08
Ah...Dee, **tears**
Marlene Austin07/23/08
You drew an exquisite portrait of the love bonding/binding these two. Thank you for letting us stand back and gaze. So well done. :)
LaNaye Perkins07/24/08
This entry moved me to tears. It was so well written and drew the reader right in. Very well done my FaithWriter friend.
Chely Roach10/12/08
Absolutely beautiful...