Forever and Ever, Amen.

Welcome to Fiction Friday! This week our host is Shirley over at Sunny Glade. Join us over there for links to more fun fiction.
Some tongue-in-cheek humor for today...

Sometimes this husband of mine is enough to drive me batty! Even though I love him dearly, and wouldn't trade him for another make or model, there are days when I wish I could send him right back to where he came from--my father.

Yes, this husband of mine was a Christmas gift from my father. What's that? You mean you've never received a husband as a gift before? Well, all I can say is, be thankful! Once you receive him as a gift, there's no getting rid of him. He's in your life forever and ever, amen. And I know what I'm talking about!

All I wanted for Christmas that year was a word processor. Yes, that was a long time ago, when those things were not your common household appliance. Still, a girl's allowed to dream, isn't she? So when dear ol' dad sent me to the office that Christmas morning to get my gift, I was sure I'd finally struck it lucky and hit the mother lode of Christmas gifts.

The hallway was short and I made fast work of it, my fingers itching to caress my new toy, my mind whirling with the hours of potential delight with such a machine at my fingertips. Never mind about the time it would save me as I slaved over all those college projects and papers I was wading through—those would almost be a delight with that new word processor. Almost.

The office door was closed, and I paused there for a brief moment to take a breath and try to appear cool and composed, but inside I was screaming. Open the door already!

My hand wrapped around the cold doorknob, my fingers almost white with the will power to slow down. I turned the knob and pushed the door open, but the shade was pulled and the lights were off, so I still couldn't see anything.

Ha! They're just trying to be tricky and prolong this, I thought. I reached in and groped for the light switch but that switch was in an odd place and it took me a moment to locate it. I wanted to see, and get my hands on, that word processor so badly I could almost taste it. When I finally felt the switch, I flipped it on impatiently and nearly jumped out of my skin.

Sitting there, in the desk chair, in the dark, was a man. A man with his hair sticking up at odd angles and big smile beneath his beard.

I clapped a hand over my mouth, but, I'm embarrassed to say, not before a shriek slipped out. Once I was confident no more hidden girlieness would slip past me unaware, my hand slid down to make sure my heart was still where it belonged. I just knew it was beating out of my chest like you see on the old cartoons my dad and I were so fond of.

The man just sat there grinning, as if he found me highly amusing. “Merry Christmas,” he finally said in a rough morning voice. And my knees turned to jelly.

“Phil! What are you doing here?” I tried to bluff my way out of my faux pas.

His laugh rumbled from his red checked flannel. I loved that flannel on him. He had told me he couldn't come for Christmas, but here he was.

He shrugged as he gave me a hug. “Work was canceled at the last minute, but I can leave if you want me to.”

“Oh, no you don't!” I pulled him into the living room to confront my smug-faced dad. “And you didn't tell me!”

Dad just laughed and pointed out the living room windows. I turned and looked. There sat a red pick-up that I hadn't noticed in my headlong rush to get to the Christmas tree that morning.

I looked at Phil, in his red checked flannel, and knew I was sunk. Not only was he not a word processor, but he was a man and I thought I was done with men. I tell you, I was doomed.

It's been twenty-some years since that Christmas, and I have to admit--but certainly not to him!--that he's still the best Christmas gift I've ever received, and I've received some good ones since then. Especially from Phil.

Okay, so here's the scoop on this story--it's mainly true! Jim was a Christmas gift 20 years ago, and other than my salvation, he's the best gift I've received. The fictionalized part is how much I wanted a word processor. LoL--I barely knew what one was, but Mom and Dad had been mentioning it, so when they sent me to the office 'to get my gift', I seriously wondered.

Up until that point, Jim was the big brother I never had, but we started dating that Christmas day...and were engaged on Friday the 13th, just 3 weeks later! (Disclaimer: I do NOT advocate that time table! It's just that we had gotten to know eachother as brother/sister, without the whole dating thing--and that was great!)

And I still love it when he wears red-checked flannels.


  1. Anonymous8:52 AM

    What a great romantic story, especially that it's
    mostly true! Sunny

  2. Awwww, I love it! Sweet and romantic and TRUE!

  3. What an odd gift! :) I love your true-ish story.

  4. Sweet sister Patty,

    This is WONDERFUL! I love it when my husband wears flannel too!

    And wow, what a fabulous Christmas gift! I totally agree with you, our husband's are just incredibly wonderful aren't they? Thank You Jesus!!!

    I love you sweet sister,

  5. Awww! What a fun story! I really liked this and it was so funny to read that it was true. Neat! I especially liked the word processor bit though...I was completely convinced one bday that I was going to get a red laptop, because every clue around me pointed to it and it turned out that it had absolutely nothing to do with PC's, but a trip to NJ, what fun!

  6. I LOVED the "author's note" to tell me how much was true and the additional info. Love the voice - and what an awesome present you got! :D

  7. This was so sweet. I'm afraid if I had received a gift like that when I was in college I would have ran away. LOL

  8. Your dad was a BRAVE man! LOL. I wonder if that tactic will work for Joseph when he's older? Hmmmm. ( : Sweet story, Peej!

  9. Fun story, and I always love reading (or hearing) how someone still thinks their spouse is a terrific gift, even after 20 years.

    Of course, I am a sucker for romantic, happy endings.


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