Blog-a-thon 2008

Blog-a-thon ’08: Welcome Home [8]

Want to know what’s going on? Visit this page.

I’m going to take a break from the writing for a few hours and recharge my creative batteries. I’ve written 4,463 words in the past twelve hours (that’s nearly 13 pages!!) and I’m going cross-eyed. I’ll resume the story later. Stay tuned!

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Welcome Home

“You’re what?!” Alecia couldn’t believe her ears. “You’re not seriously going to slap that on the guy, after all this time? After all he’s been through?”

“I’ve waited long enough,” Jessie said in a hard, even tone of voice. “I have to move on. We don’t even know each other any more…”

“You knew life would be like this when you married him.”

“But I never thought he’d actually GO into the army!” Jessie yelled back.

Alecia snapped to attention at Jessie’s bitter words and noticed, for the first time, they were standing in the middle of the airport airing their very dirty laundry. People were slowing in the hopes of witnessing more theatrics. She took her sister-in-law by the elbow and escorted her back toward her seat.

Jessie jerked her elbow from Alecia’s grip and marched to stand in front of the large window. Margie could be seen just outside, trying to distract a tired Lisa.

“She always liked you more, you know.” Jessie said, her voice sounding wistful.

“That’s because I haven’t gone out of my way to antagonize the woman.”

“No,” Jessie said slowly, her eyes still trained on the woman and child. “It’s because you didn’t lose YOUR baby.”

Alecia sighed and resisted the urge to rub her eyes. They had had this conversation at least a hundred times in the past year. Jessie was six weeks pregnant when she miscarried. The doctors weren’t able to give them a reason for why it happened, it just happened. Jessie had never been the same afterwards.

“Jessie,” she began slowly. “At the risk of sounding harsh, you have to get over that. It happened nearly thirteen months ago. It wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t Pierce’s fault …”

Jessie held up a hand. “Stop right there.” She turned to look at Alecia. “It was certainly Pierce’s fault.”

Alecia blinked. “What? What are you talking about?”

“He beat me.”

Alecia felt like laughing, though this was no laughing matter. “Jessie,” she began.

“You don’t know what he’s like to live with!” Jessie spat. “He’s moody, and unpredictable and …”

Alecia placed an arm around Jessie’s shoulders. “We’ve talked about this, Jessie. He slapped you once and that was because you provoked him. I was there, remember? I saw the whole thing. Sure, he shouldn’t have hit you, but he’s human and you really did push him over the line.”

“But I was pregnant,” she began weakly.

“And that slap had nothing to do with why you lost that baby, Jessie. You’re just looking for someone to blame.”

She sighed and her shoulders slumped. “I had such high hopes for us, Alecia.”

“So, what’s changed?”

“Us. Me.” She said helplessly. “I needed him. He wasn’t there.”

“He wanted to be.”

Jessie dabbed a finger under her eyelid to mop up the moisture. She was careful not to smear her makeup. “We’re not like you guys. We’ve always had to work at our relationship …”

“And we haven’t?” Alecia chuckled dryly. “Jessie, we’re not perfect. I used to be such a mouse when Carter and I first got married.” She shook her head at the memory. “I think Carter was first attracted to the fact that I was helpless. He could help me, he felt like a hero. And to me, he was. But then he got shipped out, and I got pregnant …” She sighed. “There’s nothing like having a baby to make you grow a backbone, let me tell you.”

“I’ve been lonely,” Jessie began as way of an explanation.

“That’s rather insulting to insinuate that I haven’t been, Jessie. Take your loneliness and times it by two.” She thumped her chest and then pointed to her baby.

Margie and Lisa were heading back inside.

Jessie sniffed and glanced at her watch. “Shouldn’t they have arrived by now?

“Carter said they were delayed and — ”

“You heard from Carter? When? Was Pierce with him?”

Alecia blinked at Jessie’s rapid fire questions. “Uh … yeah, I talked to Carter about twenty minutes ago. They’re on their way now. He said something about some storms slowing them down …” she paused and gave Jessie a long look. “You haven’t heard from Pierce?”

“And why should she?” Margie snapped from behind them. “She lost the right to talk to my son a long time ago.”

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It’s time for a chance to win this book!

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Chicken Soup for the Military Wife’s Soul: Stories to Touch the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit by Jack Canfield

If you would like to win this book, just leave a comment on any of the posts between NOW and 6:00 p.m. U.S. central time! A winner will be announced in the 6:30 p.m. U.S. central time entry!

4 thoughts on “Blog-a-thon ’08: Welcome Home [8]”

  1. Ok – I’ve ready it from beginning to now — *tapping fingers impatiently [grin} … ready for the next chapter. This is a great read!!

  2. Karen, thank you so much for the info. I will pass it on to Kristin. I am totally out of the loop this year, other than the task she has asked me to do as church secretary. I was VBS director for 11 years. It was time to step down though. And since Kristin is getting paid as Youth director, and gets paid extra for VBS (even though I was still “VBS director), I decided to turn the helm totally over her. I hope she uses some of the information I will give her — thanks to you!

    You are right — I probably won’t be reading in the wee hours of the morning — its been a loooonnnggg day, and tomorrow, we have church, and then to Topeka for a birthday party, so another long day ahead. But, I plan on reading each and every entry, whether it takes me a day or a week! I’ve done blogathons before, and I know what determination it takes to stay in there the full time.

  3. Hey, fair is fair! If no one else comments, you can have it! ESPECIALLY since it’ll go toward a good cause!

    I’m going to post about this later, (much later, as in the middle of the night and you may not see it), but I thought this might be interesting for your VBS agenda: http://www.salutethetroops.org/

    I actually know the gal behind this organization – NICE woman. Anyway, it might give you some ideas you could implement in the VBS sessions.

  4. (don’t ask — I’m STILL at work .. its almost 6:00…but we are getting ready to head home. FINALLY)

    Anyway… if you wish to disqualify my entry because I won the last book, I understand! But I love Chicken Soup Books — plus, I had another thought about what I could do with the book. So, I’m going to go ahead and comment to put an entry in.

    Our VBS is doing a military theme this year. And I had made the suggestion that we have the kids bring stuff for mission time that could be sent to the soliders. I’m not sure what direction the VBS staff is going with this, but I thought IF I won the book, I could donate the book in with whatever we would send.

    I am also anxious to get home and start reading — just glancing I think you have a wealth of information here that could maybe be used for VBS. (Like the Adopt a Soldier entry). Perfect timing!

    Anyway… I feel like I’ve done a Truck-a-Thon today. But I’m not going 24 hours. 9 hours on a Saturday is bad enough!!!!

    Hang in there, Karen. This is for a good cause, and I know you will make it the full way!

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