A Family of Three Now


My wife brought in the stack of Christmas cards to sign.  I shook my head.

“It’s not even Thanksgiving yet.”

She smiled. “I like to get a jump on things.”

I almost said probably addressed them in January, but I caught myself in time.

I thanked her and went to my study. I opened the first card. It was to the Thomasons. Their daughter was Wendy’s best friend since kindergarten. Our families had spent summer vacations together once.

There was the photo.  We’d taken it a month or so after the funeral.

Molly, me, Teddy. A family of three now.

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    • J Hardy Carroll

      Yeah, I saw a photo in a coffee shop yesterday of a beautiful young girl sitting by a river. I could somehow tell she was dead. On the shelf behind me was a clipping of the newspaper report of her accident. Next to that was a Christmas card from her family, he name notably absent. It moved me, so I thought I’d write about it. Thanks for stopping by.

  1. Lynn Love

    How can you adjust to that? There will always be an empty space in the photographs where that other child shoukd be standing. Tragic and beautifully told Josh – that last line is just so poignant

  2. pennygadd51

    A beautifully constructed and poignant story. I love the indirect narration; the ostensible story about signing cards; the implied story of the death of a beloved daughter. Really well done and touching.

  3. Rowena

    Josh, it was nice to acknowledge the loss of the real young woman through your story and what her family is going through. I haven’t experienced a loss like that thankgoodness, although my Mum’s sister died when she was 36 and I know how that affected everyone. We only kept in touch with her husband through Christmas cards as there’d always been a rift. However, his niece contacted us a few years ago and gave us her rings. He’d died and they thought our family should have them. We had her and her Mum over for lunch and it was a beautiful moment.
    Best wishes,

  4. Joy Pixley

    As soon as I read the title, I was bracing for something like this, and then you gave it such a subtle touch, it hit me like a brick anyway. Powerful approach, focusing on the holiday cards, and how different they will be this year.

Don't just stand there.