TITLE: “Christmas, Present”
AUTHOR: Jacquelyn Mitchard
This is a perfect holiday read about the true meaning of Christmas because it is about love, trust, and letting go.
How should a 14th wedding anniversary be celebrated? It is not a milestone like 25th or 50th anniversaries, but having survived the struggles of his mother’s death, wife’s breast exam results, and little Annie’s meningitis, Elliot felt the need for a special anniversary with his wife Laura. Their wedding took place on Dec. 23 with the bridal party wearing red velvet and white fur, while the men dressed in gray suits and top hats. These were pleasant memories recalled as Elliot planned a dinner date and tickets for a special show Laura had talked about for weeks.
How could such a special night turn in chaos and change their lives so quickly? Laura complained of a horrible headache on the way home that night and insisted on going to the hospital. Elliot kept driving not thinking it was serious and as they drove through the Boston Tunnel their vehicle stalled. Of course he called for road assistance, as Laura continued to be in great pain and was wanting to get to the hospital. The vehicle had to be towed and an ambulance took Laura and Elliot to the hospital after a long wait. After scans and tests Laura was admitted into the hospital. The results of the scans proved to be severe and terminal. What was wrong? How could this be happening? Will she be brain damaged? How bad would things get? Would she speak? Read? Would she be able to care for their three little girls? How would Elliot explain all this to the girls?
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Doctors assured Laura and Elliot she would have seizures followed by a coma and then death. Death would be soon. Knowing all this Laura asked Elliot to get three wedding cards and three graduation cards so she could write on them for the girls’ future. She had private one-to-one conversations with each little girl, her husband, and her four siblings. Following specific instructions from Laura, brother Stephen bought the gifts for the girls, but the gifts were stored in a closet unopened because Laura passed on Christmas Eve. Who helped the family get through the difficult holiday season?
Laura and Elliot’s dream and plans were to travel to Paris as part of their anniversary celebration and she had him promise to take the girls there some day. After Elliot established trusts for each of the girls, paid off Angela’s student loans the trip was finally fulfilled. It took years to accomplish all that ,and he was excited about the trip but as usual Annie was rebellious and expressed her feelings to the fullest degree! How did Laura accompany them on the trip? Was this upsetting and causing Annie’s rebellious behavior? Who did they meet in Paris?
Becky Stakston is an avid reader from Westby.