Last Dance

Last Dance

It was only a few minutes past midnight on January 1, 1945. The war was raging over seas. But inside the Officer’s Club the mood was festive, yet pensive. They had just finished singing Auld Lang Syne. The couples kissed and clinked their glasses of champagne together in a toast to the New Year. Maybe soon there would be an end to this horrible war, and their loved ones would be able to come home for good. 
Lieutenant Melinda Evans was a nurse in the Women Army Corps. There were many women who served during the Second World War. She was proud to do her duty and serve her country. It helped the time pass too, since her new husband was overseas fighting. Each day she saw many wounded soldiers. Some had injuries so bad that she wondered if they would make it. Each time a new face was brought to the army hospital, she thought about Jack. She knew his job was dangerous and she prayed for him to come back to her soon. 
They got married just a few weeks before he left. They hadn’t wanted to wait until he got home. Her parents begged her not to, but she wanted more than anything to be Mrs. Jack Evans. Just the sound of his name on her lips made her smile.
The wedding took place in her parents’ home. She wore a white ankle-length dress with a scooped neckline that showed off her beautiful shoulders. Her hair was long and black. She had pulled the sides up and pinned them in the back with a silver hair clasp. Her eyes shone as bright as the tiny diamond he was about to place on her finger.
“Do you, Jack, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife till death do you part?” The preacher looked at Jack.
“I do.” Jack looked at his young bride. Tears filled his eyes.
“Do you, Melinda, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband till death do you part?” 
“Yes, I do.” She barely whispered the words. Her lips quivered. Her hands shook. Her eyes searched his. 
“I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.”
Jack took her in his arms; she cupped his face in her hands. Their lips met. Their life together began at that moment, with that kiss.
On their wedding night he hummed their favorite songs and they danced for hours. 
They were inseparable for the next two weeks. They laughed and talked and planned their life together. They agreed on everything. They both wanted a boy and a girl. She wanted a two-story house with a porch across the front. He wanted her to be the happiest woman in the world. She told him, “You’re the love of my life.” 
They made love. Enough love to last them until he came back from war. But they knew that two weeks would never be enough time together. The time quickly passed. 
She drove him to the train station. She couldn’t believe it was time for him to leave. She parked the car. They walked the short distance to the station. Her legs were weak; she placed her right hand over her stomach to quench the sick feeling she had. But nothing helped. He was leaving. Her days would be empty, her nights long. She would miss him. She would long for him every minute until he returned. 
The train pulled into the station. They embraced. They stood there for what seemed like forever. But then it was time to pull away. He gave her one long, last kiss on the mouth; she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed his face, his eyes, and his lips. He broke the embrace and held her at a distance, just for a moment. A moment to capture all that he would miss, until he returned home again. It was time. He left her standing there; alone and afraid. Afraid of what the future held. Afraid for him and for them.
Two months passed. Christmas was gone and the New Year was coming. Melinda’s commanding officer had asked her to put together a New Year’s party for all the men and women in their Company. 
The party was a success. Everyone was having a great time. After midnight the dance floor became crowded again. Couples danced to the band playing the swing sound. The room was smoky and loud. 
“May I have this dance?” The General held his hand out to Melinda.
“Sure.” She smiled as he led her onto the dance floor.
“Thanks, Lieutenant, for planning the party. I think everyone here has had a good time.”
“I think so too.” She smiled at the General. She could tell that he appreciated everything she had done to put the party together. Then, without warning, her body shuddered. She suddenly felt that wave of loneliness flood over her again. God, she missed him so much.
“Lieutenant, looks like this thing is starting to break up. I’m getting pretty tired myself. You mind locking up when everyone leaves?”
“Not at all. You go ahead.” She was grateful for the chance to finish up and go home. She needed time to be alone with her thoughts and memories. She waved goodbye to the General and walked back to her table. 
She was tired too. It was getting late. The band had already stopped playing and was getting their instruments gathered up and put away.
“Thanks again, you all did a great job.” She waved to them as they left. The last couple got up from their table and moved toward the door. 
“Happy New Year, Melinda,” they called out as they left.
“Happy New Year. See you later.” Melinda took a deep breath and locked the door behind them. She checked the rest of the doors to the club and turned the lights out. 
Thank goodness she had already made arrangements for the enlisted men to clean up the next day. At least she didn’t have to worry about that.
As she turned the last light off in the main room and started to leave through the back door, she noticed the silhouette of a soldier standing in the front doorway illuminated from the hall lights behind him. 
“Sorry, soldier. The party’s over. Would you like to go out the back with me?” Her voice was a little shaky. She hoped he didn’t notice.
“One last dance.” He held his arms out to her as he walked a little closer.
“But— there’s— no music, the band is gone,” she stammered as she slowly backed up.
“We’ll make our own music. Please. I’m on leave. Have to go back today.” He started to hum a familiar tune. I’ll be seeing you ... in all the old familiar places....
He drew her into his arms and they began to slow dance in the darkness. He held her close. He touched her neck gently with his fingertips.
“Your hands are freezing.” 
“What unit are you in?”
“Hundred-first Airborne.”
She shuddered; feeling suddenly cold again. “My husband Jack ... he’s in the … Hundred and First.” 
“I know.” The soldier looked down at her, deep into her soul.
“You know? You know my husband?”
“I know him very well. You two were married just before he shipped out.”
“He told you about me?”
“I know everything about you.” He slowly turned her away from him and encircled her body with his arms. They danced even closer. His lips brushed the side of her neck as he whispered her name. His hand gently touched the rise of her belly and caressed her with firm circular motions. 
She dreamily closed her eyes and moved her body in rhythm with his. She was in a state of pure exaltation. Swaying in his arms. It seemed so natural, so right. It seemed like she was dreaming and then suddenly, as if from waking from that dream, she spun around to face him.
She put her hands on his shoulders and tried to see his face in the dim light. But she couldn’t—the room was too dark. She rushed to the light switch and turned it on. The light was bright. She covered her eyes for a short second. When she looked up, he was gone.
Four weeks later Melinda was sitting on their bed reading the letters that she had received from him since he had been gone. She read them every night. It made her feel closer to him. She could smell his scent on his letters. Feel his passion in the words that he wrote to her. He told her how much he loved her and how much he missed her. She could see the tear stains from the tears he cried, and now the stains were mixed with the tears that fell from her eyes each time she read his letters. Their tears melded together, as their bodies had before he left; making them one. 
The night was slipping away and Melinda was getting sleepy. She slid the letters under her pillow and turned off the bed-side lamp. She pulled the covers up under her chin and said another prayer for the love of her life. She snuggled down on the pillow with her hands grasping his letters. She fell asleep with his words of hope and devotion in her hands and his love in her heart. 
The next morning she woke with a strange, haunting feeling. She went about her usual routine of showering and eating breakfast. She put on her uniform. But this morning it seemed a little tight. She just tried to suck in her tummy as she put on his favorite color of lipstick before leaving the house. 
The hospital was busy. Many new faces had arrived since the weekend. She tried not to show her anxiety as she went about her normal duties. Her patients had to be her main concern.
She got home around six that evening and went straight to the shower. It felt good to wash the hopelessness and pain of the day off. But she still had not been able to shake the feeling of dread that she had had since this morning. She dried her body and put on her robe. She made herself a drink and walked to the little mail box just outside the front door.
Just as she reached into the box she saw a man dressed in uniform step out of a car. He walked up the sidewalk and onto the porch. “Are you Mrs. Evans? I’m from the Pentagon.” He handed her a telegram. “I’m deeply sorry, ma’am.” He turned around and left. 
Her hands trembled as she held it next to her heart. She stood there motionless for what seemed like hours. She went to their bedroom and sat down on the bed. She knew what the telegram said. She didn’t need to open it. Finally she reached for her letter opener and gently ripped the envelope apart. She read the words as tears ran down her cheeks.
Dear Mrs. Evans,
I regret having to send this telegram. Your husband, Jack Evans, was killed in action on 1 January 1945 at Bastogne, Belgium, in the Battle of the Bulge.
Colonel Mathewes
United States Army
The telegram was short and to the point. He was gone. He would never be back. 
Melinda thought back to the early morning hours of the New Year’s party. He had been there with her. He had held her and stroked her face with his fingertips. She had thought it was all a dream. Maybe she had just wanted him to be with her so much. But it wasn’t a dream; he was there, whispering her name, holding her close. She thought about the way he rubbed her tummy. Firm and gentle at the same time. And then he was gone. But his memory and a part of him would be with her forever.
She laid the telegram under her pillow with the letters he had written her. He would never get the chance to raise a family with her. But he did get to share their ….last dance.

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Lone Lilly

My little Lilly growing all alone

How smooth your velvet petal

One day your shining in your glory

Next day your almost gone

I love to see your soft delight

Your sense of dewey love

There is a freshness that dawns for me

In morning's early light



When you were my little sister
Sometimes I didn’t like you much
You were a brat, and ratted on me
When I thought I knew it all

Even though you got spanked
It was a fun ride huh?
Golf carts required no license
So why should that Barracuda?

I always wondered if the keys would
Ever be found
I didn’t tell you then cause
Besides being a brat you tattled

But then we grew up and went separate ways
You grew into a lovely young woman
You were still my little sister
But not the brat I once thought you were

We’ve shared many moments together
Stumbled and fell, yet never failed
To be there for each other
Sisters are that way

My prayer for you this special day
Is to see life come full circle
To know your worth is measured
In the kindness you bestow

We share that special bond
Only sisters can attest
To understand, not judge, just love
No matter how we fail

So be happy, enjoy the rain when you
Hoped the sun would shine
Change only if you want to
Sometimes roses bloom in winter.

By Debbie Aycock Williams 2008

I love you,
Happy Birthday

copyright 2008


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How to treat others.............


The leaves are gone and bare branches solicit the heavens The warm days are spent, lingering blades of grass Glisten from the morning frost Seeking absolution from their iniquities. Ensuing eradication wounds the external covering And when they have relented at last The hope of resurrection rests in the seed That was scattered long ago. By Debbie Aycock Williams copyright 2009

Chloe's and Joleigh's graduation from 6th grade......Katie graduated from 5th Congratulations girls!


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Life's not the breath you take..........Oh my God, they take my breath away!


Kathryn how do I describe the overwhelming pride you bring to my heart?
When I think back to that rainy night you were born until this very day that is
Filled with sunshine and happiness, accomplishments and expectations of what tomorrow holds, I remember a precious first grandchild, What excitement ensued.

From the time you pushed the front door open and went head over heals down the steps and we spent half the morning in the emergency room. Of course you were fine and I was a wreck. The hours we spent reading and playing will always be memories I cherish like no others. Memories of birthday parties, a scared little girl going into the operating room, Christmas and Easters at Granddaddy ‘s and Mama Kitten’s, vicious bathtubs, special times of doing nothing but being together. There are memories here: Toys you played with, books you read, notes you wrote and pictures you drew; Saved in a box with your name on it and They are all here in my heart, the same heart that is filled with love and pride for you Kathryn, For all you stand for, the caring, loving, kind woman you have become. You are one of God’s gifts to me. I love you.

written 2009 for her graduation 2010 Now that she has read this

in her yearbook, I can post it on my blog! I love you Kat!


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As I walk through my garden I touch the tiny leaves
Of my lonely rose bush

It stands all alone, by itself
No other nearby

The hibiscus grow profuselThey entertain each other with colors of purple and white

And mix together as the wind blows
Back and forth

But my little lonely rose bush
Has no other to share its quiet beauty

Only the bees occasionally fly by
And my fingertips when I feel the velvet petal

Someday soon, I shall plant another rosebush
So my lonely rose won't stand alone

And when I no longer walk through the garden
My little rose won't miss my loving touch.

By Debbie Aycock Williams

Copyright 2007