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Rated: E · Short Story · Emotional · #1743523
This was just me conveying great pain in great loss....
Noelle Christmas looked at the box of decorations as she sipped on her hot chocolate. The box seemed to be her biggest enemy at the moment. She let out a heavy sigh and set the mug down on the coaster on the coffee table. If she opened the box that meant this was real. It was Christmas, and she was in her new home. She fought the tears from her cocoa eyes pushing her raven curls from her face. She exhaled and grabbed the box with shaky hands. Noelle tenderly rubbed the words ‘Christmas Stuff’ in Alexander’s handwriting. She held her breath as she pulled the tape off leisurely.
She slowly let the breath out as she looked into the box. The tears by now were beginning to cloud her vision. Inside of the box were three years of Christmas memories as Mrs. Christmas. She laughed as she pulled out her stocking, Alexander’s stocking, and the stockings from Rilee and Caleb’s first Christmas. She then found the Santa hats the twins had worn for their family picture. A laugh escaped her lips as tears slid down her cheeks. She then spotted the tiny Christmas tree. She remembered that was the year Alex was first contacted by the doctor about the spot on his brain.
Christmas 2007
“How’s that look,” Noelle asked, sitting in the seat by Alex’s hospital bed.
“It’s perfect,” he said hoarsely, looking at her with tear filled eyes, “you’re perfect. Noelle, you look so tired. Why not go home and be with the kids? You don’t need to be here on Christmas, having me drag you down on your favorite holiday.”
“You stop that,” she said fighting her tears, “I am where I need….where I need to be,” she stammered.
“What about Rilee and Caleb,” he asked holding her hand as tight as he possibly could.
“They are fine. They are with your mom and dad. They love seeing Vava and Boompa,” Noelle said quietly. “And tomorrow they will be with Memere and Pepere. They are more than happy, believe me.”
“You knew this was going to happen. Everything in you knew it, and like an idiot I blew it off to be nothing,” he said no louder than a whisper. “You don’t deserve to go through this with me. You deserve better than this.”
“Alexander James Christmas,” Noelle said looking at him as tears silently fell down her cheeks, “did I or did I not marry you two years ago? Have we not been together all these years? I love you. I swore Heaven or Hell, sickness or in health, from here to eternity. And I plan on standing by those vows no matter what.”
“How did I get lucky to have someone as wonderful as you,” he asked tears slipping down his cheeks.
“I think you have it wrong. I am the lucky one,” she spoke quietly. “Now you rest. I will be here when you wake up.”
“Yes ma’am,” he smiled at her as she leaned down to kiss him.
Her heart broke as she kissed him tenderly. The fear that this may be their last kiss was almost too much for her heart to bear. She then watched as Alex closed his eyes and his breathing became shallow. She directed her eyes back to the small tree, trying not to think of her weakened husband. The tree wasn’t the lavishing tree like they put up every year at home, but it was something to bring Alex some Christmas spirit. Noelle looked back at the strongest man she ever knew, watching as he wasted away in the hospital bed.

Noelle laid the tree on the couch covering her face as she wept. Her body shook as she sat on the couch, her spirit breaking with each sob. She wanted him to come out of the bathroom and wrap his arms around her, laughing and telling her that she was over reacting. She finally calmed herself down and finished digging through the box. At the very bottom of the box lay the candy cane stocking she had hung in his hospital room last year. She hesitantly grabbed the stocking, the emotion from that day just too much for her to endure.
Christmas 2009
“Noelle,” Doctor Ryan Diboll said quietly, “he is no longer responsive. He hasn’t been for weeks. All you’re doing is holding on to a shell of what was Alex.”
She looked back at her husband, tubes and wires surrounded him with beeping monitors and IVs. She caught sight of herself in the mirror across the room. Her hair was a disheveled mess; her eyes were dark and puffy. There was no way that was the reflection of a twenty-six year old. She wrapped her sweater tighter around herself. Her eyes wandered back to her husband, who when she married him was a healthy almost three hundred pounds. He had wasted away to nearly one hundred pounds over the course of four years.
“I don’t want my children to not say good-bye. But I don’t want them to remember their dad this way. What do I do,” she sobbed to her mother.
“Ellie,” her sister Danicka said grabbing her hand, “that’s not Alex anymore. This is so unfair to him.”
Noelle leaned down by him, taking his hand in hers, “I love you now and forever more. But I have to let you go my love. Wait for me on the other side Alex. Watch over our babies. Help our son become a big strong man, and our daughter to be a beautiful young woman. And help me find the strength to go on every day. I love you,” she said and kissed his lips gently. “It’s not good bye. It’s I will see you later.”
Noelle leisurely took the decorations down as Alex’s mother and sister stood crying by his bed. She couldn’t allow herself to break right now. There were the children and the rest of his family to think about. The cancer had taken her husband quicker than they expected it to. There were still too many things they wanted to do, to see…too many memories to still be had. She excused herself, going to the chapel where she sat, holding his stocking and sobbing.

Noelle wiped the tears from her face as she stared down at the stocking. Last year was the worst Christmas ever. She then realized there was something left inside of the stocking, something she hadn’t noticed before now. She reached inside and pulled out a powder pink envelope with her named scrawled across it in Alex’s handwriting. Her hands shook as she lifted the top of the envelope, pulling out the letter inside.
She hesitantly opened the letter, her heart racing as she noticed his handwriting. It was his final good bye.
“Noelle,” the letter began, “if you have this letter in your possession right now, then I have passed on. I know you and the kids will be well taken care of. I wish I knew of some way to make this easier, to make it not hurt so much. I love you, Ellie. I always will. And just know wherever you are, there I am, with my arms tightly around you. And remember, you are still living…and you have our children to live for. Don’t be afraid to enjoy yourself…to laugh and to love.
Your husband, Alex.”
Noelle pressed the letter to her chest, smiling as tears slid down her cheeks. And for the first time since he passed, she could feel his arms tightly around her, and her heart found peace.

© Copyright 2011 Genna Graves (ladyvirgo88 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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