General Fiction posted August 8, 2014 Chapters:  ...92 93 -94- 

This work has reached the exceptional level
A baby is born, a lifetime to live

A chapter in the book Enough to Miss Christmas

Enough to Miss Christmas

by Fridayauthor

Please see Author Notes for the summary. Thank you.
            Summerside Weekly Bugle - December 27th
            Sarah Blanding North of Summerside passed away on Christmas day after struggling for hours with a difficult birth. At her bedside were members of her loving family, husband Paul North, daughter Karen North and son Timothy North. Also in attendance was the deceased’s beloved sister Suzanne Blanding Kelly of Connecticut. An infant daughter miraculously survived her premature birth, weighing a scant four pounds. She was named Sarah Suzanne North in honor of her mother who gave her life that her daughter might be born. According to Dr. Brenner, attending physician, the child is doing well and expected to survive. Services for Mrs. North will be held at St. Christopher’s Roman Catholic Church on Wednesday next with grieving family and friends in attendance.
            Karen showed me the obituary she had written in her diary, the one place she knew I wouldn’t see it and be ill with anxiety during my pregnancy. She penned several versions before being satisfied. She was so convinced in her heart it would be needed she vowed to make it perfect. While the date of my baby’s birth was off by several weeks, the bedside attendance was accurate, though the results far from ominous! Needless to say, my obituary wasn’t needed!
             We both knew why she chose Christmas for the date. When I read what she’d written, I was the first and only person to set eyes on her diary, a journal she keeps up to this day. Reading what she’d written made me cry, but that happens often when Karen and I are alone together. We have so much to share. On nearly all occasions we share tears of joy.
            Several weeks after the birth of my daughter I left her in Karen’s care for the day and made a quick visit to my childhood home and my sister Suzie, who would do anything for me. We talked and talked for hours, all afternoon until the winter sun set, and about the time my father would have returned from work, we finally buried the cat. I’ve had no nightmares since.
            Years have now passed and little Sarah . . . Pip, we call her; she was such a pip squeak at birth,. . .  is approaching the age of her big sister Karen when Karen and I were first introduced. Karen and her husband . . . no, not Stanley . . . Jeff, are expecting a child of their own, perhaps on Christmas day. She told me the news today, as we snuggled in the now-frayed and faded love chair.
            My sister Suzie, at long last a school teacher, will be my granddaughter’s Godmother. If it is a boy, Karen will name him Timothy, after her brother who will start college in the fall, on a baseball scholarship.

            Karen receives Christmas cards from Mary Ellen. She remained in Vermont. Together with her significant other, a girl named Judy, they run a gift store.
            Mrs. Peck is gone now, but her emporium of toys remains. She passed away in her sleep the same week the mayor died. Mrs. Peck’s funeral service out drew his Honor’s five-fold. I spend as much time in my toy store as I’m able but Cathy Chatzky, finally matured, ably runs the place in my absence.
            Paul logged many hours with Dr. Mason, remaining under his care for months after Karen and I were long excused. Paul and I share secrets, sometimes in the love chair. His daughter’s ready forgiveness of him was the best remedy in abolishing his guilt. Paul was the big winner in our able-to-adjust competition. After all, he was the one we forced to change and he did so like a champ. Sarah remained the Sarah I’ve always been and always will be. I’ve never truly changed; I just took a twenty year sabbatical immersed in a septic-tank marriage and lonely existence before I rediscovered what I truly loved in life. Yes, Paul still over-delegates and makes mistakes, but I love him with a passion I didn’t know existed. He continues for reasons I’ve never fathomed, to love me as dearly as I love him.
            My husband is less active with his business ventures, now and spends more time at my side. He’s turned over most of his responsibilities to Thatcher Wright. Our honeymoon never ended and our family is our life. We’re thinking of forming a foundation as Paul’s unused wealth is climbing to a staggering amount. Perhaps Karen and her husband Jeff will be custodians, but we have lots of time to decide the details. There’s too much family fun still ahead of us and raising a teenager, I’ve learned from experience, is an awesome and challenging responsibility.
                                                                The End.

Book of the Month contest entry

Earned A Seal Of Quality

Widow Sarah Blanding meets and marries Paul North. Paul's precocious daughter Karen needs time to adjust to the new family. This is a novel of family love; love of mother and daughter, husband and wife and sisters.
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