View Full Version : The Diary of Carrie Armstrong

December 19th, 2011, 08:23 PM

Maddie is distraught over the recent loss of her mother, Carrie, and feels she cannot go through with her upcoming wedding without her mother by her side. While looking through some of her mother’s belongings, she comes across her diary and is astonished to find that her mother also went through a difficult time just before her wedding. Will this discovery help to convince Maddie to carry on with her own wedding or will she be even more discouraged?

The Diary of Carrie Armstrong
By: Becky Sherwin

“Daddy I’m not going through with the wedding,” Madelyn confessed as she walked through the door of the two-story renovated brick home.
It was the Midwestern home of her childhood in Peru Indiana where she had pretended she was from the “old” days, wearing frilly calico dresses her mother had sewn for her and paper bonnets they made together. It was her mother who had been fascinated by the late 19th century, the period of time in which this house was built. Although her mother had grown up in the late 20th century, she studied the rich history of her ancestors and passed the fascination along to her daughter. Madelyn longed for those days when the two of them had played together in the big back yard abundant with flowers her mother had planted. They seemed so long ago now.
“Maddie, you can’t call off the wedding. Your mother wouldn’t have wanted you to.” Her father, Justin, met her at the door with an embrace.
Maddie began to sob. Her usual sleek dark hair was tangled and oily; her bronze-tinted skin covered by red blotches around bloodshot eyes. She sported sweat pants despite the heavy August heat. “I can’t do it without her. I don’t even know how to feel right now Daddy. I’m a mess.”
“I know sweetheart, I know. It’s a shock for all of us. I always thought your mother and I would grow old together. Forty-eight wasn’t exactly my idea of old.”
Maddie pulled away to look at her father. His hair was graying slightly around the edges but his dark brown eyes made him as handsome as ever, even if they were a little puffy. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I shouldn’t be so selfish. I just don’t think I can hold down a marriage when I’m going through this. I wanted to start off on the right foot and now I really don’t think I can.”
If only her mother were there to reassure her. Just three months ago, right after her college graduation, she and her mother had picked out a wedding dress. Maddie smiled at the memory. The dress was perfect; cream colored with a full skirt and a corset top, a costume true to the late 19th century. The only modification she and her mother had made was removing the sleeves, making the modest gown more modernized.
In the midst of the planning for such a happy event it had seemed as though nothing could go wrong. But then just over a week ago Maddie had received an unexpected visit from her father. When she opened the door of her studio apartment in Marion, Indiana, she was stunned find him collapse into her arms with body wrenching moans. At first she thought he was hurt but after what seemed like an eternity of anticipation, she uncovered the information that would change her life forever: her mother was gone. She had been in an accident on her way home from work in Kokomo; hit head on by a semi that had crossed the median. She was killed on impact. The days that followed seemed like a blur. Maddie had been in such shock and grief that she hardly remembered the funeral.
Justin cleared his throat, breaking up her thoughts. “Honey, Ethan will understand. He’s a good guy and will make a very fine husband. He will stand by you through this difficult time. Trust me. You need him now more than ever. And you have me too.”
Maddie dropped her face to her hands, clamping her eyes shut as if to will away the traumatic events of the past several days. “I’m just not sure this is the right time to be getting married. It’s only three weeks away.”
“Don’t make any decisions just yet. There’s still time to think it over.”
Justin slipped an arm around his daughter’s shoulders and led her into the kitchen. “You need to eat something. I made some sandwiches.”
His eyes swept over her skinny figure as he poured her a glass of iced tea, then another for himself. He pushed the platter of ham and cheese triangle sandwiches toward her. Maddie accepted and joined him at the table. She chewed mechanically without really tasting, swallowed hard, and gulped down the tea.
“Have you gone through any of momma’s things yet?”
“Yes, some of it,” replied Justin. “I appreciate your offer to help me today but you really don’t have to. It can wait. You have enough to do.”
“No, I want to. It will help me feel close to her.”
Justin shrugged. “If you’re sure. But if it’s too much we can call it a day.”


Maddie stepped over boxes of her mother’s clothes that her father had begun packing and bypassed additional garments hanging in their closet. She turned to the top shelf of the closet where her eyes swept over crates of photographs. Each crate was labeled by decade beginning with the 1980’s all the way up to the present, 2020’s. Another crate marked “old photographs” contained pictures of Maddie’s ancestors from several generations. Remembering the times her mother shared the photos with her, telling stories about each person, Maddie pulled down the crate and sat next to it cross legged on the floor of the closet. She lifted each photo from the box, careful not to tear the brittle edges. Each black and white portrait matted on a black card brought back a memory of her mother explaining what each person was like. “…This woman was your great-great grandmother. I never knew her but apparently she was quite a rebel for her day. I’ve been told that she snuck out of the house to meet your great-great grandfather before they were married. It was a scandal back then in 1904. They even had the lane where they met named after them. Sparking Lane…” Maddie closed her eyes. Looking at these photographs made her feel as though nothing had changed. She felt as though she were a child again sitting here on the floor. Any minute now her mother would discover her in the closet and begin looking through the photographs with her. Maddie could almost sense her presence. She scrunched her eyes tighter as if to will her mother to come…
Thump! “Ouch!” Maddie jumped in surprise and pain, all concentration lost. Her hand flew to her head. “What was that?” she wondered aloud. A chill crept up her spine as she scanned the room, making sure she was still alone. She looked into the crate astonished to discover a small, unmarked, blue leather bound book. Maddie glanced up at the empty shelf where she had taken the crate. “It must have fallen somehow…” She got to her feet and began running her hand over the high shelf. Finding it was now bare Maddie dropped back to the floor and picked up the book.
She opened to the first page and gasped. In bold print read the words “This Diary Belongs To:,” and scrawled in her mother’s neat handwriting was the name “Carrie Lovecamp Armstrong.” Maddie puzzled over the name “Lovecamp.” She had always thought her mother’s maiden name was Foster. That was Grandma and Grandpa’s last name. Maddie hesitated, debating whether or not to turn the page. She looked around the room again and back up to the empty shelf. Would her mother have wanted her daughter to read her private thoughts? Filled with the anticipation of what her mother had written, Maddie put all guilt aside and hurriedly turned the page.

Saturday,April 29th, 2000
I’ve never written my thoughts down before but I am hoping that it will be good therapy for me and that I can leave some of my stress, frustration, and anger behind on these pages.
My wedding is only three weeks away and I am leaving town. I cannot go through with it. At least not until I find who I really am.
Just yesterday I drove the 20 minute commute home from my last day of college at Wesleyan University in Marion to our country farm. As I sat down to look over the seating chart for the reception mother sat down next to me on the couch. For a moment I thought she might offer some help. After all, I had done most of the planning even while cramming for finals and finishing my senior thesis for my teaching degree. However, her intention was not to help but to damage. Her eyes were wide as she took my hand and said “Carrie, there’s something I need to tell you.” I couldn’t imagine what could be so important with my wedding just over the horizon, but I gave her my full attention. “Honey, you’re father and I have just never found the right time to tell you…” She seemed to need prompting, so I asked, “What is it?” Mother sighed. “We aren’t your birth parents. We adopted you.” I blinked at her. My mouth fell open but no words came. “When you were a baby,” she continued, “Through the Adoption Services in Fort Wayne.” The seating chart and pen fell out of my hand. “You’re telling me this now?” I tried to keep my voice calm, but it was shaking with shock and anger. “You think that now is the right time?” Mother hesitated. “Well,” her tone was soft, innocent-like, “Since you’re moving out soon…I didn’t know when I’d ever get the chance to tell you.”

Maddie’s hand had flown to her mouth and she only just realized she was biting down hard on her index finger. She had no idea that Grandma and Grandpa Foster were her adopted grandparents. Eager to find out more she went back to reading her mother’s words.

Although my legs were like weights, I stood up and willed them to carry me outside. I had to get air--had to get away from her. I breathed deeply, taking in the green pastures dotted with our Herford cattle against a clear blue sky. The steady sound of metal against metal rang out through the countryside. Father was hammering away, repairing the John Deer tractor next to the barn. I made my way to him. He stopped his work at the sight of me. “Honey, what’s wrong?” He asked, “You’re really pale. Are you sick?” I shook my head which had begun to throb. “Is it true?” I choked out. “Am I adopted?”
Father’s eyes narrowed, a crease became visible between his eyebrows, and his jaw clenched. “Nancy told you??” he burst out. “I told her and told her it would be best not to! You can never reason with her! When she’s determined to do something, she will do it no matter what!” He kicked the dirt with his boot then looked up at me. “I’m sorry sweetheart,” He said, putting an arm around me, “The time was just never right, especially not now with your wedding coming up.” “No kidding,” I agreed, “That was my thought exactly.” I sniffed. “I don’t think I can go through with it now. I mean, I don’t even know who I am. I’ve got to find out who my real parents are.” Father pleaded with me to wait until the wedding was over. He begged me to realize that he and Mother are my real parents now, that they have been all my life and that they love me very much. He tried to persuade me that it would be best not to know about the life I might have had if my birth parents hadn’t given me up. He even told me his guess about why Mother chose this time to tell me. He said she did not want me to get married and move out. I am their only child and she was desperate to keep me in her grasp.
Did mother really believe that telling me I’m adopted would keep me home? The effect was exactly the opposite. My parents claim they have lost my birth certificate and they do not know the names of my blood parents so I have contacted the adoption agency in Fort Wayne. I leave first thing Monday to make the hour drive and begin the quest to find my birth parents.
Sunday, April 30th, 2000
Justin is devastated. I feel terrible for hurting him, but he has to realize this is something I have to do. I explained what I had just found out, that I’m leaving to investigate the whereabouts of my birth parents, and that we have to call off the wedding. He begged to come with me but I told him this is something I have to do on my own. He is so worried about me and says he needs to be with me to comfort me. A part of me wants that more than anything but a stronger part of me needs to find out who I really am on my own, before I feel I can commit myself completely to Justin.

Monday, May 1st, 2000
My birth mother is dead. The adoption agency went through the records and found my birth name, Carrie Dawn Lovecamp. (I was pleased that my adopted parents kept my first and middle names.) They had no other information.
I asked for directions to the library where I accessed a computer and typed “Carrie Lovecamp,” in the search engine. I doubted I would find anything, but to my surprise a link to an article immediately popped up. To my dismay, it was my mother’s obituary. Apparently she passed away just a month after my birth, September 2nd, 1978. She was murdered, stabbed in the chest by a man named Richie Stark. She was laid to rest in Lincoln Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia. She was only twenty years old. Tears began to flow as I read the words “Angel Lovecamp is survived by grandparents, Teresa and Willy Lovecamp, and one-month old daughter, Carrie Dawn Lovecamp.”
I printed the obituary and then furiously pounded the keys, searching for “Richie Stark.” To my relief I discovered he was in Atlanta Prison, on a life sentence for killing her and one other person. Why did he kill her? What was his motive?
I’m going to Atlanta to visit my mother’s grave and to find out more about her. I drove to Fort Wayne International Airport where I bought a ticket for the next available flight which leaves tomorrow at 10:00. I checked into Motel 6 in Fort Wayne for the night. I doubt that I will sleep.

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2000
Yesterday I arrived in Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta at 2:00 p.m. I picked up some yellow daisies at a gift shop and caught a taxi to Lincoln Cemetery. When we arrived, the cab driver asked me if I wanted him to wait. I declined and said I would find another way, hoping that it wasn’t too far to a bus stop.
As the taxi drove away I began to make my way through the rows of stones. It was a large cemetery and I had no idea where my mother’s stone would be. After about two hours of searching I stopped and stretched, yawning loudly. My lack of sleep was catching up to me. I turned in a full circle to see how much progress I had made, and suddenly I glimpsed a gray rectangular stone with a pink heart-shaped plaque sitting next to it that read, “Best Friends Forever.” I wondered who had left it. The engraving on the stone read:

Angel Rose Lovecamp, mother
November 15th, 1956—September 2nd, 1978

I had been looking for a bare stone. I hadn’t thought about anyone else coming to visit her grave. I knelt to the ground and placed the flowers next to the heart. I reached out and touched the word “mother” and tears began to flow for the mother I had never known.
“Excuse me,” a voice startled me. I looked around. A woman in her early forties stood a few feet behind me. I was surprised that I hadn’t heard her approach. “Did you know Angel?” she asked. “Yes…no…um…she was my mother,” I stood up, wiping my eyes. The woman gasped. “Carrie?” she exclaimed. I nodded slowly. She hurried toward me and pulled me into a bear hug. “I can’t believe it!” When she finally drew back I could see that she was crying. “I never thought I’d see you again,” she gasped through her tears of joy. “I’m sorry. I should have introduced myself. I’m Amelia, your mother’s best friend. I was with her the day of your birth. You look just like her.” I was dumbfounded. “Really?” was all I could say.

Maddie blinked and scanned the last paragraph again, concentrating on the name Amelia. “She must be Auntie Amelia!” She thought aloud. Auntie Amelia had been present at almost every family gathering throughout her life. She had always believed that “Auntie Amelia” was her mother’s aunt, but in reality she was her true grandmother’s best friend. Maddie read on to find out more about her blood grandparents.

Amelia and I ended up spending the rest of the afternoon together. She gave me a lift to a diner where we shared stories over coffee and burgers. I explained how I had just found out that I was adopted and about my upcoming wedding that I could not go through with. I begged her to tell me about my mother. She launched into an account about her early life. She and my mother had grown up together next door to each other in Atlanta. My mother had been looked after by her grandparents most of her life because her mother left her when she was a small child and her father had never been in the picture. Angel and Amelia were the same age and they called themselves the A sisters. They did everything together: homework, learned to ride bikes, enrolled in dance classes, even liked the same boys in school. They both dreamed of becoming nurses. After high school the two applied to Atlanta Metropolitan College and became roommates. At this point, Amelia hesitated, explaining that the rest was too much for me to find out just now. She said I looked exhausted and invited me to her house to spend the night. She promised to continue the story the following day, but I wouldn’t hear of it. I wanted the truth that had been kept from me for so many years, no matter how painful.
She continued reluctantly. “”Both of us began to date at the beginning of our sophomore year. Unfortunately your mother became mixed up with the wrong guy,” Amelia explained. “His name was Richie.” I gasped. “Richie Stark? He’s the guy who killed her!” Amelia nodded her expression sober. “He was so polite and charming at first. His charade sucked your mother right in. But after a few weeks she saw him for who he really was. He took her to a social dance and she noticed that he was hitting on all the women, and not just verbally, even physically, patting them on the behinds and pinching their waists. He had also begun to boss Angel around. He told her what she should and shouldn’t wear; nothing that showed too much skin—no shorts or tank tops or dresses above the knee. She told him that he wasn’t the boss of her and that they were just friends. Richie was furious and called her his girl, saying she was to obey him.
“Your mother stopped seeing him but several days later he discovered her conversing with another guy in a hallway after class. Richie whispered in her ear that she’d better come with him immediately. She shook her head and tried to ignore him but the guy she was talking to detected rage in Richie’s demeanor and took off. Angel tried to follow him but Richie held her back and when they were alone in the hallway, he back-handed her across the face. He explained it was her fault for talking to another man and that she was to never do it again.
“Angel was terrified, and so was I. She wouldn’t leave our room or even get out of bed and she began failing her classes. She was too scared to report Richie for fear it would make matters worse. When he called or stopped by I explained that she was sick, but it didn’t work for very long. His anger was escalating. I knew we had to do something so I reported the situation to the dean, who also alerted campus police. Richie was expelled and banned from campus, but we were still terrified that he would ignore the ban and come back to harass Angel or worse, hurt her.
“The dean assigned a student helper, who was also in training to become a police officer, to escort Angel to her classes. His name was David Jackson. Even after what your mother had just been through, she was a trusting person. She immediately fell in love with David, and he with her. Even I could see right off that they were perfect for each other.
“It was mid-December when I found Angel in our dorm room, completely hysterical. She was pacing, pulling her hair out, crying, and screaming foul words every now and then. I had never seen her like that before. I immediately thought that Richie had come back, but I was wrong. She finally settled down long enough to tell me she was pregnant with David’s baby.” My heart skipped a beat. That baby was me. “David’s my father?” I cut in. Amelia nodded and hurriedly continued. “I told her not to panic, but she said that her grandparents would never forgive her. She was going to run away but I told her to wait and to talk to David. I assured her that no matter what happened I would be here for her. She took my advice and David vowed to stand by her. They had only been together for a month but he loved her dearly. He went out and bought a ring and proposed to her, suggesting they go to the courthouse to get married. She agreed even though she knew her grandparents would not be pleased; she decided to break the news of the marriage and the baby after the two were wedded.
“Angel became excited about the occasion and I went with her to pick out a wedding dress. She found a dress for me too, because I was to stand up with them as one of the witnesses.” Amelia cleared her throat and looked out the window at the twilight. “It’s getting late,” she said. “I’ll tell you the rest after you get a good night’s rest.” I begged her to go on, insisting that I had been desperate to know more about my real parents since finding out about them three days ago. I assured her I would not sleep until I knew everything. I had to know more about my father. What happened to him? Was he still alive?
Amelia sighed heavily and confessed that the ending to the story was not a happy one. “It was December 19th,” she said, “The day your mother and father were to become Mr. and Mrs. Jackson. Angel and I waited in our dorm room. David was supposed to pick us up but he was late. We waited for an hour and a half. Angel believed that he had backed out but I assured her that something had probably come up, though I couldn’t imagine what it would be.
“Finally we walked across campus to David’s dorm. When we arrived on the third floor we found his door open a crack. I immediately knew that something was wrong. I told your mother to wait in the hallway while I checked it out, but she wouldn’t hear of it. She burst in the room screaming for David. The first thing we saw was the bright red spray paint on the wall that read: ‘YOU’RE MINE AND ONLY MINE! Sincerely, R.S.’ We both knew right away that R.S. stood for Richie Stark.” Tears trickled down Amelia’s face at the memory of it. “Was he dead?” I prompted her. “Did Richie murder my father?” Amelia slowly nodded her head. She took out a tissue and blew her nose. “Below the message, on the floor,” she paused, struggling for breath, then continued, “lay David’s body, a knife in his chest.”
I began to cry too. Amelia took my hand to comfort me. We went back to her house where she put me up for the night. I awoke early this morning and I sit now in the extra bedroom, recording the events from yesterday so that I won’t forget any detail. The whole thing seems like a bad dream.

Thursday, May 4th, 2000
Amelia explained why my mother gave me up. After David’s death she was terrified that Richie would kill her and her unborn baby. The police were on the hunt for him but they did not have any leads to his whereabouts. Amelia and my mother dropped out of the Atlanta Metropolitan College and fled. Amelia would not let Angel go by herself and if she had stayed, Richie surely would have come after her for my mother’s whereabouts. The two girls didn’t tell anyone where they were going for fear that Richie would trail them. Angel scraped together her own life’s savings and then snuck into her grandparents’ house and took a large sum of money before they went into hiding. She felt terrible about it, but it was her only choice. She was desperate to save her child.
The girls were terrified. They moved often, traveling northwest from state to state. Sometimes they took the train, sometimes the bus, and other times a taxi. A couple of times they rented a car. They were careful not to use a credit card for fear of being tracked. During their travels, they constantly kept an eye out for news of Richie’s capture, but none came. Instead, they recognized their own faces on the news. They had been reported as missing and sometimes disturbing photos of Richie Stark showed up along with theirs. He was a suspect to their disappearance.
The girls spent the night in a number of hotels and during the last month of her pregnancy when Angel grew tired of traveling in her condition, they risked staying with an uncle of Amelia’s in Greeley Colorado, who promised not to blow their cover.
On August 5th, 1978 Angel gave birth at North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley, Colorado. “She loved you more than anything in the world,” Amelia told me, “It was the first time I had seen her truly happy since before David’s death.” Amelia went on to say that Angel was getting comfortable staying put at her uncle’s house and thought that the coast might be clear to go home. After all their money had almost run out and there had been no reports on Richie. She thought that maybe he had forgotten all about her. “Your presence brought her hope,” said Amelia, “She was so captivated by you that she honestly believed nothing could go wrong.” Amelia persuaded my mother not to return home because no reports of Richie’s capture meant that he was still out there somewhere.
It was an evening just two weeks after my birth when the girls finally heard about Richie. My mother was rocking me gently in a rocking chair while watching the news. Richie had been spotted at a gas station in Kansas earlier that day only only a few hours away from where they were staying.
The girls made a run for it. They were sure Richie was on their tail. Amelia’s uncle gave them some money and escorted them to Denver Airport where they took a plane to Fort Wayne, Indiana. It was the earliest flight they could catch.
“Your mother was terrified that something was going to happen to you,” said Amelia, “As soon as we arrived in Fort Wayne, she decided we would take a cab to the adoption agency. I tried to plead with her that there might be another way to keep you safe but she said we were running out of time. She was completely distraught over letting you go. She held you close to her and kissed you a thousand times, promising that she would be back to get you, before finally handing you over to the representatives. She explained to them that a man was trying to kill her and her baby and that the police had not yet found him. I’m not sure they believed her. She was so hysterical at that point that they probably thought she was insane. All she left was your name. Carrie Dawn Lovecamp. She didn’t leave hers for fear that Richie would somehow trace it to you.”
Amelia said that my mother wanted to leave Indiana immediately to lead Richie off track so that he would not find me. The girls returned to Atlanta where they confessed to their families everything that had happened. Their families were relieved that the girls were alive and well; Angel’s grandparents welcomed her with open arms even after she told them about her baby and confessed to stealing the money. Although their relatives kept their reappearance a secret, Angel felt that it was only a matter of time before Richie caught up to her.
“She was severely depressed over leaving you behind,” said Amelia, “And she was starting to feel that she would never be reunited with you. She believed that the only way the terror would be over was when Richie ended her life.”
My mother had turned out to be right. Her killer snuck into the Lovecamp’s home in the wee hours of the morning on September 2nd, 1978 and stabbed her while she was sleeping. Her grandfather, Willy heard a noise and grabbed his baseball bat before hurrying into Angel’s bedroom. He snuck up on Richie and swung hard, knocking him out cold but when he flipped on the lights, he saw that he was too late. The deed had been done.

Saturday, May 13th, 2000
Amelia and my great-grandparents made the trip to Fort Wayne, Indiana to be reunited with me soon after my mother’s death and Richie’s capture, but it was too late. The adoption agency informed them that when my mother put me up for adoption, she signed a form that finalized the deal. Even a relative could not take me back. They pleaded with the agency and offered money to adopt me but my adopted parents were already in the process of adopting me, and the agency would not allow the process to be interrupted.
This is why Amelia was so happy to see me. She was relieved to know that I was alright, after all the years that she had been powerless to get me back and care for me. She knew that’s what my mother would have wanted.
I’ve stayed with Amelia for a week and a half now. She is off work for the summer because she is an elementary school teacher. She said that after Angel’s death, she could not continue her nursing studies, because it was too depressing without her best friend by her side. Amelia has shown me photos of my mother growing up; giving me most of them to keep. She was right; I do look just like her. Even in our childhood years we favor each other: long, stringy blonde hair, lanky arms and legs, bright blue eyes, and a pointy chin. Amelia also took me down the street where the two girls grew up and pointed out the house where my mother lived.
Amelia and I have become good friends. She talked me into going ahead with my wedding. She said my mother is looking down on me and that she would want nothing more than to see her beautiful daughter happily married. I’ve thought it over and finally decided it’s the right thing to do. I’ve been through a lot in the past couple of weeks but at least I know the truth now. I realize there’s no point in continuously moping and I’ve decided to go ahead and marry the man of my dreams. I know he will be there for me always, no matter what I am going through. I just hope he still wants to marry me after I’ve gone off and deserted him like this.

Sunday, May 14th, 2000
I called Justin last night and apologized for my behavior. I told him everything I discovered over the last couple of weeks. He was compassionate and forgave me instantly. The wedding is still on. I am overjoyed!

Tuesday, May 16th, 200
Only four days until the wedding! There is so much to do. Amelia and I flew back to Indiana from Atlanta yesterday. She was delighted that I invited her and before we left, she gave me a gorgeous heart-shaped pendant necklace that had been my mother’s. I will never take it off.
My adopted parents are glad to have me back. Mother apologized for being so insensitive by revealing the news that I was adopted at the time of my wedding. I forgave her and told her that I’m glad I learned about my real parents and that I wouldn’t have met Amelia if I had never known I was adopted. I realize that even though my real parents are deceased, I am very fortunate to have grown up in a stable home with a mother and father who love me. However, this doesn’t stop me from wondering what my life would have been like if my real parents had had had the chance to be married and live happily ever after…

Saturday May 20th, 2000
Today is our wedding day! I am soon to be Mrs. Justin Armstrong!

Sunday, April 7th, 2002
I just came across this journal and though I haven’t written in some time, I believe this is well worth recording. Three days ago on April 4th, Justin and I were blessed with a baby girl, Madelyn Rose; Maddie for short. Amelia is here for a few days helping out. She has become part of the family, like a second mother to me.

A smile spread across Maddie’s face. Her middle name was taken after her true grandmother, Angel Rose. Maddie turned page after page, but found the rest were blank. She closed the book and sighed. “Poor Momma. She was going through a tough time too right before her wedding just like me.” Maddie brushed her hand over the cover and closed her eyes.
“Hey, you doin’ okay kiddo?”
Maddie jumped and fumbled with the diary.
“Sorry. Didn’t mean to startle you,” said her father. He made his way toward the closet. “You’ve been up here a while.”
“Did you know Momma kept a diary?” Maddie asked, holding up the little blue book.
Justin sat down on the floor next to her. “No, I didn’t.” His eyebrows met in the middle as they did when he was puzzled about something.
“I—maybe I shouldn’t have read it.”
“Hmmm,” said Justin, examining the outside of the journal, as if he were unsure about whether to open it.
“I think you probably knew about everything she wrote,” Maddie piped up. “How she found out that she had been adopted just three weeks before you were married.”
Justin nodded, his expression sober. Maddie realized it must have been a tough time for him, too, not knowing if her mother was going to marry him or not. He began flipping through the pages.
“I had no idea what she went through. It must have been awful finding out that she was adopted and that her real parents were murdered all at once.”
“She didn’t want you to know. At least, when you were younger,” Justin paused. “Somehow though, I believe she would have told you everything now because of what you’re going through.” Justin looked up at his daughter. “In fact, maybe this was her way of speaking to you. She wanted you to find the diary because she knew that you needed encouragement to go through with your own wedding.”
Maddie’s eyes lit up and her mouth turned upward into a wide grin. It was the first time she had smiled in what felt like ages since the shocking news of her mother’s death. “Well…” she began, “the diary did just sort of fly off the shelf and conk me in the head,” Maddie gestured toward the shelf where the little book had rested.
Justin smiled too. His eyes began to spill over with tears. “Your mother’s still here,” he choked out.
“Oh Daddy,” Maddie gushed. She threw her arms around him. After several moments father and daughter parted, laughing and wiping away joyful tears.
“So,” her father began. “Are you going through with the wedding?”
Maddie nodded, beaming. “I know Momma wants me to.”

Comments Please :-)

The Backward OX
December 20th, 2011, 01:05 AM
I’m not sure that a handwriting font is a good choice for stuff posted for review, particularly given the overall length of the piece. The font sizes chosen could also work against you, as not everyone knows how to enlarge stuff on their monitor. Overall, many would-be commenters could be turned off before even getting to the story itself.

The days that followed seemed like a blur. Maddie had been in such shock and grief that she hardly remembered the funeral.

This is a new point in time, and needs a new paragraph.

As I sat down to look over the seating chart for the reception mother sat down next to me on the couch.

mother (as the name of a person) = Mother

“Honey, you’re father and I have just never found the right time to tell you…”

“you’re” is an abbreviated form of “you are”. The word needed is “your”.

Herford = Hereford

Maddie had been in such shock and grief – one cannot be in grief. One experiences grief.

“I had no idea what she went through. It must have been awful finding out that she was adopted and that her real parents were murdered all at once.”

The juxtaposition of “murdered” and “all at once” is poor sentence structure. It makes the reader stop and scratch their head. I have two suggestions; replace “all at once” with “simultaneously”, and place it after “finding out”.

Female readers may enjoy it. http://www.writingforums.com/images/smilies/icon_smile.gif

December 22nd, 2011, 01:14 AM
Thank you for your feedback! I plan to use your suggestions and make changes. Some of my mistakes were just silly! When I'm too close to something I have a tendancy to completely overlook them.

Thanks again! :-)