The Christmas Letter
Flash Fiction by Voni Harris
She found the decorative red and green card among the branches on the Christmas tree. She hadn’t put it there. She looked over at her son in question. He just grinned and shrugged his shoulders. She broke the seal on the envelope and pulled out a letter…
Yes, it’s your daughter, writing to say Merry Christmas. It has been a crazy year, full of pain, shocks, and surprises.
The pain of our inability to get along, the constant fighting that finally pushed me to move out. I remember when I was a little girl, and our home was full of laughing, silliness, bedtime talks and prayers. When did that go away? When dad was sent to prison, I guess. Well, that’s his problem. He made his choices. I just wish it hadn’t affected our relationship the way it did. And I have to say, I had my part in it. I went into my room and closed the door more times than I can count. I did my share of yelling. I left home, instead of being there for you. I selfishly forgot the pain Dad caused you.
I’m sorry, Mom.
The shock of finding a lump in my breast. Without you there to talk it out over a cup of hot chocolate. The surprise of finding out it was just a cyst. Without you there to cry tears of joy with me.
The surprise of where that cancer scare led me: straight to the arms of Jesus. How could a loving God give me a Dad like that? It was a surprise to find, all along, that He was the way out, the way past all the pent-up fear and anger in my heart. That bedtime prayer habit of yours became my own habit. Yes, Mom. I asked Jesus into my heart. I’m a Jesus-Freak like you. I can’t believe, now, that those words led to the fight that made me move out last Christmas. I was so stubborn.
I’m sorry, Mom.
Then there was the surprise of finding love. He’s a very handsome Christian man who wants to be a journalist. He has such a heart for truth. I love him so much.
And speaking of surprises, Mom: If you open up your front door, Kelvin and I are here for Christmas.
Let us in, wouldya? Please?