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"It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you... every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand." ~Mother Theresa
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Sometimes God sends a little nudge that we are never forgotten and always loved, as Teresa found out in the mysterious photos that appeared many years after the roll of film was forgotten.
by Teresa Atkins
A few days before Christmas 2000, I dropped off a roll of film from a recent trip I'd taken with my friend Jack to see the fall colors in eastern Tennessee. I had an hour before the pictures were ready. As I did some last-minute shopping, I thought about seeing everyone at our family's annual holiday get-together. I was looking forward to it, but I couldn't help feeling Christmas hadn't been the same since my grandmother passed away in 1995.
The whole family used to gather at Nana's little farmhouse in Maynardville, Tennessee. There were so many of us we had to eat in shifts, but somehow we all managed to crowd into Nana's living room to open our presents around the tree. Nana would sit in her rocking chair, smiling when she saw how excited we grandkids were. My uncles capped off the night with a big fireworks display that had us oohing and aahing all the way home.
If only I could just see one more wonderful Christmas at Nana's house, I thought wistfully.
I finished my shopping and picked up my photos. On the way to the car I opened the package. I couldn't believe my eyes. Superimposed over the autumn foliage in the first shot was an image of Nana sitting in her rocking chair holding a Christmas present. I flipped through the rest of the photos. Double exposures, all of them, showing my family celebrating Christmas at Nana's house. How had they turned up on that roll of film?
As soon as I got home I called Jack. "I loaded that roll into your camera," he said. "I found it on the floor of your car, and I just figured you'd dropped it. When did you say those pictures are from?"
I looked more closely at the photographs. There was Nana. And Granddaddy, who'd passed away more than 10 years ago. "It looks like they're from Christmas 1989," I said.
Jack whistled. "That certainly was an old roll of film."
"But, Jack, where did it come from? I've only had that car for two years."
by Teresa Atkins copyright 2002
Teresa lives in Tennessee where she writes for inspirational publications. You may email her in care of 2theheart.
The Letter Box:
I am a 72 year old lady and your story really brought back memories and details long forgotten. I felt transported in time to when I was a young girl when I read your Christmas story. Thank you for penning such a lovely memory.
God bless you,
Dear MaryEllen Grisham,
I just wanted to thank you for such a wonderful Christmas story! I loved every tiny detail - what a wonderful memory you shared with us! Love, Geena
Making a difference, one story at a time!