The Final Christmas Card

Her name is Precious. 

When I was 13, she hired me to clean her house on Saturdays.  She was getting a break from vacuuming and dusting, but in reality she was giving me relief from the confusion and tension of my family life.  The highlight was eating lunch together.  She introduced me to oyster crackers while she told me the secret of her long marriage was growing up with her husband. She was 15 when she married Roy.  After two years as a Saturday maid, I took a “real” job at a store. 

When I got married, of course I invited Precious to my wedding, unaware that she had changed churches and no longer mixed with most of the folks attending.  She was so glad to be included.  Her wedding gift – a Presto Pressure Cooker – is a gift I continue to use 31 years later.

On one of their jaunts around the country, Roy and Precious visited us in Klamath Falls, Oregon.  Always radiant, she woke early and cleaned up my kitchen before showing me her daily floor exercises.  A stickler for good posture, she would urge me to “look up at the third story, Carol, and keep your shoulders back!”

Every year I look forward to receiving a Christmas card recycled into a postcard from Precious.  When I read her unwavering handwriting, I can hear her voice.  She let me know of Roy’s death, of her move to Mississippi, all with her own special grace.  And as she has aged, I always wonder while I wait, if I will hear from her this year.  In the funny way of friendships, we have no one else in common, no other link to each other.* 

This is the card I received this year:

12/10/09
“Merry Christmas” Carol and Curt & Family
and a Blessed New Years.
Since I was 89 on 9/11 old age is evident,
but the Lord meets every need.
Looking forward to Eternity w/ old friends
& am not sending cards in the future-
will see you in Heaven in God’s timing.
Rejoicing in Jesus,
Precious

* I reconnected with another friend from that era; after reading this, she emailed me to say she is also a Precious friend. 

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7 thoughts on “The Final Christmas Card

  1. Wow, I’m really touched. This card is burning!When I was 18 I went to Madrid to study in the University, leaving La Coruña where I used to live and were my parents still live. Whenever I went to La Coruña (for Holidays or so) I used to meet my friends of childhood.In Dec 1984 (I was 20) I went to La Coruña and tried to see Tony, a very good friend I was lasting to see. From a third friend I discovered that Tony had had a terrible accident (in a different town) and was, to that point, in coma or dead.It was a shock for me.I tried to know something more but I failed in that, so I wrote a letter to Tony’s parents. An ambiguous letter because I had not discovered yet if Tony was dead or not.Back in Madrid, one month later, I got a phone call of Tony’s father to make me know that Tony was still alive but also still in the Hospital. He had been knocked down by a car and suffered some brain damages. He was conscious but was still fighting for his own recovering.I continued praying to God and began to write Tony some letters trying to lessen his recovery and wishing him the best. It was maybe two or three months latter when I received his first letter back.Well, the story came to my mind reading your beautiful post, because Precious writes you almost from Heaven and Tony had been there (to me) for a long time before he wrote me that letter four or five months later.We are still friends. He lives in Santiago de Compostela, I live in Madrid. Unfortunately, we meet only once every two years or so. I’ve been present to his marriage. He is now the happy father of four children.Sorry for the length and for all the mistakes.

  2. WOW!!! Two wonderful stories  I am presently trying to find one of my students in the class where I student teach, who has had a hard life so far. She has been in 4 foster homes since June (shes 16), but she wants to be a fashion designer, and I managed to get a sewing machine donated for her. NOW I can’t get hold of her and would really like to have a happy ending to this story–at least one nice thing for this young lady in what has been a very difficult life so far. God can do great things! 

  3. @Alfonso – Alfonso, thank you SO MUCH for telling this story.  It is amazing.  I love how you put it: that Precious is writing me *almost* from heaven.  That is great.  Your English is also amazing.  I would never have the courage to write an extended comment in Spanish.  No way!  I appreciate that you did that.I hope you have a blessed Christmas.

  4. Oh, that makes me think of my Alice,who was my 1st grade Sunday School teacher. She didn’t sent Christmas cards, but she sent me a birthday card until she was well into her 90’s and always with a chatty letter in her distinctive handwriting. In her final card, she repeatedly said she wanted to go home and she did get her wish that very year. I miss hearing from her, but the sweet fragrance of a life well lived lingers. Blest be the tie that binds…

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