The Official Writing Challenge
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Wow! This gave me goosebumps. Well done. You won't be at this level much longer!
A great story.We visit a hospital in a town replete with retirement complexes. The other day we met a man beside his dying wife whom he had nursed for twenty years following a severe stroke. She was his Sweet Caroline.
A little bit of red ink: Your hook at the beginning could be stronger. It needs to be more explicit to catch the reader's attention. Something like, "The howling wind and pouring rain heralded the worst day of Hal's life."
Your title was great. It piqued my curiosity immediately.
This is beyond beautiful. You grabbed my attention with the first paragraph and held it to the very end. This story has memories flooding my brain. I've been fighting horrific chronic pain for over 30 years and my husband has been so wonderful. Many times he has been asked, "Why don't you leave her?" He is totally bewildered by such a crass suggestion, but it reminds me how blessed I am that God put us together. I also remember when my mom died and how similar things that happened to the pastor in your story happened when she died. Your story has given me a sense of peace that I can only explain as the Holy Spirit working on my behalf over a skirmish the devil has been trying to stir up with me. All of this to say thank you for writing this piece. I needed to read it right now.
A well written story that touches the heart. I wouldn't be surprised if you move up to Advanced soon. Keep writing.
I was so touched by this beautiful awe inspiring story...oh my gave me goosebumps, chills, and a warm sensation all at once.

Well done, and such a powerful message and uplifting story of faith and rewards.

Thank you for sharing this with us.

God BLess~
What a lovely tribute to your loved one. It touched my soul. Watching someone in constant pain is especially beautiful. The ending was such a perfect way to end it.

I imagine you will be moving up in no time.
This is very, very good. You told the story well and the descriptions, the coffee crashing to the floor, etc., made me see it all. My only suggestion might be a smoother transition into the paragraph starting "Months later..." Perhaps you could have him reminiscing, then get a phone call, or something. It's just a little bit rough right there, but other than that, this piece rocks! You won't be in Beginners for long.
I really liked this story, it's emotional and shows how God loves his people. "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints ..." (Psalm 116:15).however; there was one thing that was a little distracting for me:

Were they in a hospital? If so, wouldn't he have heard the code call overhead? But then, maybe there are hospital systems that don't do overhead code calls? Or he could've been too distracted by his own thoughts/memories of thier life together? I doubt he'd have been surprised enough to spill his coffee in his wife's room. These are just a couple of things that I believe would make this even stronger, more potent a read.

Keep writint. God bless :-)