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    Story of the Month Contest Winner 
 Category:  General Fiction
  Posted: December 29, 2019      Views: 145

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Story One ~ Carl and Tamara
"Letters from Heaven's Gateway" by Sally Law



~**~
Here are four life changing letters from those who were nearing death.

Why they waited so long to make amends, and say I love you--who knows. The heart is a strange creature, sometimes snuffing out the flame of love. Penned words of love can work miracles, giving hope, forgiveness, and closure to those who need it.



Letter One~ Carl and Tamara

Dear Tamara,

I see very clearly in the days since my cancer diagnosis. Yep, the doctor says I have it bad. Thing is, despite all the cancer that's eating away my brain, I can never forget you.

I imagine that you look just like your mother and still as sweet. I haven't seen you in over a decade; but I still see you chasing me down the driveway, calling me back. A memory as tenacious as cancer.

I have your fifth grade photo, it's sitting by my hospital bed. Tell me, are you still as beautiful? I know you're too modest and shy to answer this; yet, I sense my words are true.

You're probably a scientist or an astronomer by now. I remember how we'd sneak out into the yard to stargaze and view the moon's phases. Your mom would eventually stagger out with hot cocoa and blankets. I still see us all lying there, gazing at the moon, huddled together in awe.

It's my fault--all this loss. You and your mom weren't to blame. Please forgive me, if you can. I've asked God for His forgiveness, too.

I'm so sorry for my stupidity, and my selfishness.

In my sweetest dreams, I stop the car, and turn around; running towards you with open arms. Oh, how I wish I'd done that.

I love you, my sweet girl,
Dad


Carl folded the letter and gave it to his nurse. "A private investigator will be here shortly. Give him this letter, please. I've also updated my will, leaving my daughter everything. You'll see to all of this today, won't you?"

"Certainly. Come now, Mr. Hudson, it's past time for your chemotherapy."

******************

Tamara Hudson-Williams was finishing with her guided tour at the science center when her cellphone pinged. It was a message from her husband, Geoff.

Geoff: Hi, honey. Can you come home for lunch today? There's an important delivery here for you.

Tamara: Sure, babe; but can it wait until, say, four o'clock? I'll come home early instead.

Geoff: No, this can't wait.

Tamara: Okay, I'll be there as soon as I can.

A week later, Carl was taking out another piece of paper and fumbling for a pen to write a second letter. He could hardly lift his head or steady himself as the pain pulsed through every fiber of his being. His vision was going too, as the tumor pressed against his optic nerve.

"Tamara, please say you'll forgive me." His sobs could be heard through the thin walls of the 1920s structure.

His door opened despite the 'Do Not Disturb' sign. Carl screamed at the intruding nurse as he threw his pen and paper on the floor.

"Leave me alone! Can't you see I just want to be alone?"

"I'm not your nurse," said the soft voice.

There stood Tamara in the doorway with her husband and son.

"Haven't you been alone long enough, Daddy?"

"You've come! I can't believe it!" cried Carl.

Tamara wasted no time with her words of forgiveness. She wrapped her dad in her arms, pressing her mouth to his ear. "I forgave you a long time ago, Daddy," she whispered. "I just wasn't sure if you had room for me in your new life."

Grief overwhelmed Carl once again. How sweet it was to hold his grown up daughter. How could he have done such a thing? Tears flowed between father and daughter, cleansing them.

His eyes finally left her for a moment to see Tamara's family standing at the foot of the bed. Little Carl was babbling, and kept throwing his toy on the floor.

"Let me see your handsome family. Hello, I'm . . . ." Tamara broke in to help ease the apprehension.

"This is my dad, Carl. Daddy, this good looking man is my wonderful husband, Geoff. With him, is our nine-month-old son, Carl."

"It's so nice to meet you," said Geoff extending his hand.

"The pleasure is all mine," said Carl smiling.

"Dad, how about we take this party up to the observation deck, or maybe out on the hospital lawn. I saw a nice place to sit. I brought my smaller telescope; the gift from you and Mom."

"You wouldn't happen to have hot chocolate and a warm blanket for everyone?"

"I think that can be arranged."

Carl Hudson died two weeks later with Tamara by his side. His last words were, "These have been the sweetest days of my life!"


To be continued . . . .
Story of the Month
Contest Winner

Recognized

Author Notes


Photo: Silhouette Photography Of Woman by Sidney lima, #2011639 @pexels.com.
https://www.pexels.com/search/moon/
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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