Christmas card giving is almost becoming a lost art.So many people prefer to send emails and e-cards these days. I prefer to look and have in my possession the physical thing. I love old fashion Christmas cards. Every year when I receive cards on I add it to a growing pile that I take out every year and lovingly look at. I have many cards from relatives. I also have many cards from friends in high school and many other friends over the years. Each holds a story or a memory I cherish. Each year at Christmas time I take out those cards and remember each one of those people.
But I also have to admit I love looking at the beautiful pictures on each one and enjoy the new ones people send me each year. So this week story is about a Christmas Card.
The Christmas Card
Echo; noun: A sound or series of sounds caused by the reflection of sound waves from a surface back to the listener; a close parallel or repetition of an idea, feeling, style, or event; verb: (Of a sound) be repeated or reverberate after the original sound has stopped.
Hardship; noun: Severe suffering or privation.
Softly; adverb: In a quiet voice or manner; with a gentle or slow movement; in a pleasantly subdued manner.
The Christmas Card
The sun came tumbling over the horizon and the newly fallen snow, lay crisp and clean on the ground untainted by the cars exhaust as Grace hurried home through the deep snow as flakes fell softly all around her.. The building her apartment was in was old and decrepit but the rent was cheap and she could afford it on her salary. She would be alone for Christmas and what was worse come the New Year out of a job. It was December the twenty third and she had no provisions for Christmas and could ill afford the money she would spend to buy any, but she oh how she craved them. She remembered the Christmases of long ago; the smells of cloves and clementines, the taste on your lips of sweet candies, mints and striped candy canes. She wanted to see the interactions of people at the stores this time of year. It was almost like she could pretend she hadn’t gone through hardship her entire life and that she was one of those happy shoppers. That she wasn’t invisible in this life. That she didn’t spend every day cleaning offices at night seeing no one.
Grace made a decision she would go home grab her mad money, get some breakfast and then shop for some foods for Christmas, maybe she’d even buy a small present for herself. As she walked to the nearby dinner she saw her mailman hefting his brimming mail bag.
“Hello, Grace. I have some mail for you,” he said handling Grace what appeared to be some bills, then he continued delivering his load of mail and parcels.
Grace continued onto the diner opening bills as she walked. When she reached the diner she sat down and ordered and began to open her mail. Opening an envelope out popped a Christmas card. Who would be sending her a Christmas card? Inside the card tied with a lovely red ribbon a ring with a small diamond. She read...
We met on a night with a full moon and danced the night away, but war took me away from you. I have enjoyed your beautiful letters and your stories of your everyday life. They have kept me sane, when bullets reined over my body and the sounds and echoes of rockets burst over my head. I look at your picture every day and carry it close to my heart. I love you with all my heart. I know this isn’t a big ring, but it’s all I can afford. I’ll be home for Christmas and if you feel the same as I do meet me in the diner where we first met on December 24 and tell me yes. We will marry on Christmas day. If you don’t show, I’ll understand and take that as a no and never bother you again.
She didn’t know any Roberto. This card wasn’t meant for her. She glanced at the envelope it said Grace but the last name was smudged. In the corner of the envelope she read December fourteenth nineteen forty two. How was this possible? It was twenty twelve. The card had been lost in the mail.
Obviously the first place to look was at the address. It was the same as hers. This Grace had lived in her apartment. Poor Roberto! Had he sent this ring to be rejected because it was lost in the mail? And what about Grace had she still found her Roberto? Grace decided then a there she would look into this mystery and return this ring to Grace. The first person to ask was the lovely old lady in 3G. Mrs.Donnelly had been here since the thirties. She was ninety five years old but spry and very aware. Maybe she could tell Grace where to look.
©Sheilagh Lee December 19, 2012
To be continued