One Dark December
Author's note: This book for me was a joy to write as I got to know a special little girl named Stephanie and... Show full author's note »
The BeginningSaturday, March 9th, 1918
I only have a few more pages in this rugged diary. Sorry I missed the week. I was just having a hard time getting back on schedule. I almost forgot about you, dear friend! Oh, I just remembered! Alexis’ parents found a house and are moving into it tomorrow. It is amazing how things can happen so fast! On Monday we will go to school and then come home and get our things and go to the orphanage. Emily Belle is being sent away on Monday. She cried out when she was told that. I told her she could have my diary if she would like. She just shook her head and said, ‘What is the use when I cannot see it, let alone read it?” I wished I had not asked her that question.
Sunday, March 10th, 1918
We went to church today and I prayed for Hugh’s well-being and our well-being. I just wish we did not have to go to the orphanage. It is not a home there. It is a place you sleep and eat and are cared for – but that is it. We met the orphanage ladies who run the place today and they seemed nice. We will all sleep in a big room with thirty beds and rise at 6am each morning then go to bed at 8pm. It is a very controlled life.
Olivia is well and back on her feet. I asked Alexis if she wanted to come with me, Olivia and Abby down to the creek, but she said she had to talk to her parents about something. Very mysterious.
Monday, March 11th, 1918
Well, it is Monday evening and I am not at the orphanage! I smell freshly cut wood and the room I am sitting in is bare, except for a few boxes. Can you guess where I am, dear friend?! I am at...ALEXIS’ NEW HOUSE!!! That is right, dear friend. No orphanage for me! Alexis’ parents invited the four of us to LIVE WITH THEM!!! Well, until the end of the War to be precise. We were told late last evening. I guess that is what Alexis wanted to talk about with her parents! When we were told, Emily Belle and Susannah jumped out of their chairs and screamed in delight. I ran and hugged Alexis, and Aaron just kept smiling and smiling. I do not know how I can EVER thank Alexis’ parents! I feel just like family with them! Now Alexis will have three sisters and a brother! I just CANNOT BELIEVE IT!!! Alexis and I will share a room and Emily Belle and Susannah another. Lucky Aaron gets a room to himself! Since it was too late last night to go over and tell Abby, we told her first thing this morning. We all jumped up and down in happiness! Olivia is also happy for us too. Even though she says she will miss our late night talks. Now she will have the house to herself! The Halleys and Olivia are going to get the adoption papers and sign them saying Olivia is their child under the law. That will happen sometime next month. Emily Belle still went off to the blind school, but she seemed happier about it knowing she will not come back to an orphanage at the end of the year. It was sad to say good-bye to her at the train station but we hugged each other and promised to see each other soon. It will be a long four months until she comes back home for the summer break but we can do it. I love you Emily Belle! Also, Cassie is allowed to live with us too! OH, I AM JUST SO HAPPY!!!
Saturday, March 16th, 1918
I fear this is goodbye, dear friend. I only have one page left in this diary. I was just flipping through the pages and noticed how much the diary itself tells a life. In the beginning the pages are crisp and clean and the dates march along in an orderly fashion. Then, when the Explosion occurred, the pages are blood and tear-stained and then slowly they get cleaner and crisper until they are as clean as they were in the beginning.
Dear friend, I just want to thank you. You have listened to all my times of sorrow and sadness. You, dear friend, have been through it all - through thick and thin and you never once left these pages. Dear friend, if you are really out there, then I will find you and maybe we can be best friends. But, dear friend, if you are in a different lifetime or a different world, just know that you will always be with me wherever I go.
Dear friend, I feel a new beginning coming on. The snow is melting away and the buds are starting to blossom once again on the trees. I am truly starting to feel happy again. A whole new life is opening before me. Welcome, dear friend, to the beginning.