Happy Holidays

Luke and I went to high school together and last saw each other in 1958. I married and was widowed thirty years and two wonderful sons later. Luke and I met again 40 years from the last time we had seen each other. We were both widowed and it was like we had a chance to live our high school years all over again. He had married and was widowed after nine years of marriage. I had been alone for nine years and Luke for two when we met again.

Since we got married only three months after actually meeting again, Luke and I decided to do a lot of our "courting" after we got married. He was a good dancer and taught me how to jitterbug. Ah, the fun we had together! We went on "dates" and loved to get each other cards for all occasions, but what we enjoyed most about them was adding personal sentiments. I am so glad I have them to read and reflect on now. Every so often, one of us would - for no reason - write a letter to the other. I have lots of those.

On Christmas Eve, 2001, I was working in the kitchen and Luke was sitting at the kitchen table. He was helping some and I'd mostly give him things to do where he could sit down because of the pain in his back. He had finished peeling all the hard-boiled eggs for the potato salad and didn't have anything else to do. He wanted to wash dishes, but I had that under control so I said, "Why don't you write me a Christmas letter?" There was a pad and pen on the table and he started writing.

In all the excitement of Christmas, I forgot about the letter until a few days later. He told me he hadn't gotten to finish it and wanted to add some more to it before he gave it to me. He passed away a month after Christmas. The day he died, the letter was still on the kitchen table face down. I had Tim go get it for me and I read it.

Even though reading it was bittersweet, I am so glad to have that unfinished letter.

Kathleen McCoy Eldridge© December 11, 2007 All Rights Reserved

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