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CHRISTMAS 2006



I sat down in the recliner and gazed around the dimly lit living room. Except for the Christmas cards sitting on the fireplace mantel, no one would even know it was the Christmas season.

I stood up, walked over to the front window, pulled back the curtain and peeked out into the darkness. Off in the distance, I could see that many of our neighbors had put up their Christmas trees and decorated their front porches.

This was the very first time that the Christmas spirit had not come to our house. I closed the curtain and walked to the bedroom door, where I saw my wife asleep on the bed.

"I love you," I said softly and stood there for a moment watching her.

This was supposed to be the year that all of our hard work would finally pay off. We would see success from the books I wrote and the stories that were published in magazines all over the world. Also, for all the 24-days of giving advice over the Internet to those who had also been abused as children. This was the year that everything was supposed to come together as two people slid into their golden years together.

I walked over to the stereo cabinet and opened the door. I picked up the one present I had bought her for Christmas, and laid it on the kitchen table.

"What you got there?" asked my wife.

She came up behind me and ran her hands across the back of my neck.

"Got you a nice gift this year, mom. Didn't put it on the credit card like last year so this time, you won't have to pay for it yourself," I said jokingly.

She walked into the kitchen and opened the cabinet. She took out three gifts and sat them on the table in front of me. The first gift I opened was a large bar of ‘Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate.’ The second package was a jar of ‘Welch's Grape Jelly.’

"I got you some new socks and underwear too, dad,” she said.

"Open your gift, ma," I said.

She picked up the package and slowly removed the paper. She carefully removed the top of the box exposing a black leather jacket.

"I know you have always wanted one," I noted.

She said not a word as she stood up and placed her arms into the sleeves of the coat. Then she moved her shoulders up and down until the coat fell into place. I stood up and kissed her on her wet cheek.

"Fits you good, mom and it looks really good on you too."

"Next year, you gotta quit giving all your books and stories away for free, dad."

"I know, ma," I said. "I know."



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