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Letter Late

by Marijo Phelps  
3/13/2009 / Short Stories

"Hey Suzi, who do you know in the military?" asked Toni.

"What do you mean?" Suzi hollered from upstairs.
"You got a letter with a military return address on it, I'll bring it up to you." Replied Toni as she ran up the stairs with the mail in her hands.
"John? Doesn't look familiar to me let me get it open", was Suzi's comment while tearing the envelope.

Dearest Suzi, I am writing this from the hospital in Germany. Don't panic, it is a leg wound but not that serious. Don't think I will be sent back to anywhere near Viet Nam again soon though. Yes, I am coming home! Suzi, I love you and hope we can work things out. I want to hear back from you if you think there is still a possibility for US. WRITE! I have a teaching offer at UC in California that I will probably take. Nothing would be better than having you there with me. This is not how I planned to "pop the question" but would you consider marriage to this soon to be college professor? Have to get this mailed but am waiting for your answer. All my love, John

"Suzi, what is the world is that all about? Who is John? Our military hasn't been in Viet Nam for years!" Toni was mystified and Suzi was shaking her head.

"Toni! Grandma used to live in this house and her nickname was Suzi too, you don't suppose.." Suzi asked as she reached for her cell phone.

"Hey, Grandma, it's Suzi, how are you? Oh, we're fine say, did you used to know someone named John back when you were young?" Suzi queried.
"Oh, he was shot and died? How did you find that out? His parents got a notice? Oh, Grandma, how awful! No, no, well, talk to you later." Suzi flipped the cell phone shut.

"Oh, my goodness, she thinks he died! And she never got this letter and he thinks that she didn't care. Hey, let's get online to see if he's still at UC!"
"Look sis, here is a list of professors, he IS still listed there! He's a department head with an e-mail address, do you think we should write to him?"

The sisters wrote to see if they had the right professor. Grandma has been widowed for over 5 years and sure seemed lonely. They explained to him how she had heard he died and then the Christmas card that never arrived until this week, and how Suzannah was named after her grandma.

Dear Suzi and Toni,
To say I am shocked is the understatement of the decade. When I didn't hear back from your Grandma Suzi I thought that was a "no" answer. I tried to call her when I got home. Her parents had moved and I had no other contact information for her. My Mom died shortly after that and life was in turmoil.
Do you think there is a chance I could see her or talk to her or.?

Dear John,
Grandma has been so lonely since Grandpa went to be with the Lord 5 years ago. I think it would be neat if you two could talk again. Do you think we could surprise Grandma? Could you maybe come to our Christmas open house next week? We don't live THAT far from you. You aren't married?
Waiting excitedly,
Suzi and Toni


Dear Girls,
I would love to come to the open house. Does your Grandma know the Lord? I came to know Him in that hospital in Germany. Things were pretty bad for awhile..
She always loved surprises! See you in a week,

"Mom, what do you think? Will it be ok to have John surprise Grandma?" the girls asked in one voice.

"She always did love surprises but she thinks he has been dead for years. Let's give her a hint that we have a huge surprise for her!" Mom answered.

"Hi, John, I guess you might want your card back so you can give it to Grandma." Said Suzi, handing him the envelope.

"Look, here she comes!" exclaimed Toni.
"Hi girls," as her eyes stopped on the handsome graying gentleman standing next to the door.
It couldn't be, he died! "John??" whispered Grandma.

"Yes, Suzi, it is me after all these years," grinned John holding out the old card from 1969 to her. "Merry Christmas, Suzi".

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About Self

Saved by His grace in 1974, from 9 years of professing atheism into His loving arms. RN for 23 years, missionary with YWAM then statistical analyst for Every Home for Christ over 9 years. Living with my husband in the middle of a mountain meadow. GRIN! Wanting to spread the good news

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