Weekly Writing Challenge – Ghosts of December 23rds Past

The December 23rd of the past I write of is December 23rd of 1996. That was the last time my family was whole. We were 84 days into the final 99 days of my younger brother’s short life. Prolonged mysterious health issues blossomed into a cancer diagnosis on October 1st of that year and the following days were progressively worse as his life ebbed away.

My family was small, only my father, mother, my brother Kevin, and I. We were your average family, with some aunts and uncles, one grandfather and grandmother remaining. Two grandparents had passed by this time, but it is not such a foreign cocnept for an older member of your family to die. My brother was young, only 29 that year.

My brother, son and I.

My brother, son and I.

This was my full bore introduction to Cancer, the disease that would eventually claim not only my brother, but father, mother and too many other family members in the following 14 years. That December 23rd was unlike any other I had ever known. My wife is a realist, having lost her father seven years before to this horrid disease. She tried to prepare me for the coming reality. My brother was going to die, that was very clear two days before Christmas. He was barely a shell of his former gregarious, fun-loving self.

I am a man of faith and always truly believe if God has a purpose for healing anything is possible. But, as I said this was also my first personal experience with the disease. I can remember earlier on when the idea first was shared he might have Cancer I asked him about his salvation. I knew he was, but to me it was something that needs to be uttered and clear. I told him that was the most important thing and we would handle all the rest.


Dad and me the day my brother was born.

Three years later I experienced the first December 23rd without my father. He died in October due to complications from lung Cancer. Eleven years after that was the first without my mom. December 23rd is not really a significant day in the scheme of life, other than it is part of the run-up to Christmas. But those when I had all my family are more precious now than they might have otherwise been. This is what I remember about December 23rd.

Other WWC-Ghosts responses:

  1. Weekly Writing Challenge Response (December 23rds) | starlightfire
  2. This time last year… | Home’s Cool!
  3. As you grow older, your Christmas list gets smaller; the things you really want for the holidays can’t be bought | Never Stationary
  4. A Year Ago Today | Broken Light: A Photography Collective
  5. Weekly Writing Challenge: Ghosts of December 23rds Past | hippiebitch420
  6. Weekly Writing Challenge: Ghosts of Years Past | A mom’s blog
  7. A Theeivening to remember | booksdragonsanddietcoke
  8. Recruiting Minors Insults My Intelligence | Bumblepuppies
  9. Christmas B & E | Fish Of Gold
  10. The Year I Turned 18 and Met the Messiah | jackiefoxdotnet
  11. Family Ghosts on Roots Day | humblegenealogy
  12. ‘tis three days before christmas | Musings of a Random Mind
  13. Ghosts of December 23rds Past | On Being a Homegirl
  14. Ghosts of December 23rds Past – The Poetic Take | writingequalspassion
  15. Emily’s December 23rd | emilykarn
  16. Ghosts Who Sing | My Play Nook
  17. Ghosts @ HX | HX Report
  18. Weekly Writing Challenge | December 23, 2003 | House of Farts
  19. Ghosts of December 23rds Past | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  20. Christmas in the Pacific Northwest – The Christmas Tree – 2012 | Chasing Rabbit Holes
  21. One Year From Today | lifewithgreeneyes
  22. Festive Reflection | Getting Nowhere Fast
  23. Weekly Writing Challenge: Ghosts of December 23rds Past | imagination
  24. The Day That Changed Her. | Babbleogue
  25. The December Twenty-thirds of My Dis-belief | A Wild One Within
  26. Weekly Writing Challenge: Twas the night before… | Life of a Fallen Angel
  27. Chapters of Christmas Past | Mary J Melange
  28. Weekly Writing Challenge: Ghosts of December 23rds Past, Or: The Christmas Cancellation | polymathically
  29. Galloping Through the Mists of Time | Perceptive Pot Clueless Kettle
  30. Stock taking on Dec. 23 | Minnesota Transplant
  31. A Good Date (Weekly Writing Challenge: Ghosts of December 23rds Past) | Mod with Love
  32. Ghosts of December 23rds Past (WW Challenge) | Ruminations & Observations
  33. Ghosts of December 23rds Past (Or, Boy Do I Love My Life) | Laughing Through Life
  34. December 23, 2005 | johnautry24
  35. Weekly Writing Challenge: Ghosts of December 23rds Past | Stories for the Heart
  36. ghosts of december | yi-ching lin photography
  37. there are decembers | y
  38. 23 Desember 2 atau 3 tahun lalu | semangat! (coba-coba)
  39. My Other Blog | Ghosts Of Christmas Past – 1965
  40. How I Love Christmas Eve … | Life with Tess
  41. Christmas week, a year ago and today | We Live In A Flat
  42. Ghosts of December 23rds Past | The Nameless One
  43. The History of my 23rd and 24th of Decembers | TechnoTom
  44. of ferocity « Anawnimiss
  45. Ep. 4 – Joyride To Egypt: My Passive Agressive Mother’s Report | Aisha’s Oasis
  46. And A Very Unusual Christmas To You Too! | An Upturned Soul
  47. WWC: Ghosts of December 23rds Past (1991) | Caitlyn McConnell
  48. Ghosts Of December Past | ☥ Venom’s Blog ☥
  49. Years In Review… | Sincerely, Ms. Roberts
  50. December 24th(s): A reflection of Silent Nights | classyasfemme
  51. DP Challenge: Ghosts of Christmas Past | Making Life an Art
  52. Ghosts of December 23rds Past | Beezy Beez
  53. Claude and Fraud Do Something 1U | Keigh Ahr
  54. Nine Decembers – Joy and Woe
  55. Christmas in Connecticut | Kosher Adobo
  56. Leaving On a Jet Plane | Anecdote Love
  57. Ghosts of Dec24 Past | Peskipiksi Pesternomi
  58. Eight years of Christmas preparations | Sue’s Trifles
  59. Retrospect: Ever wanted to run and halt simultaneously? | Expressions
  60. Amber Sun / Амберно сонце | НЕКОИ МАЛИ НЕШТА ПИСАТЕЛСКИ
  61. 23rd December 2012 | Incessantly Inspired
  62. Weekly Writing Challenge: Ghosts of December 23rds Past | life n me!
  63. Pokey Stories, a Top 10 List | Ms. Brigitte’s Mild Ride
  64. DP Writng Challenge Accepted! ~”Ghosts Of Christmas Past” | Just A Recovery Author Learning To Be A Better Writer
  65. Upset Sauce and Crabbalin’ Water | Lovin the Trip
  66. Weekly Challenge Wednesday | uiramu
  68. Pages From Diary Of A School Girl | Shadows Of The Divine
  69. Weekly Writing Challenge: Ghosts of December 23rds Past | Shawn’s Ramblings

About Joe Owens

Can you tell from my writing I love God? I hope so because that is what I want you to know most about me. I am also a writer who loves taking on fiction prompts and crafting a story. One day you will read my work in print. Until then enjoy it here! For free!
This entry was posted in Blogging, Christianity, Christmas, Weekly Writing Challenge, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Weekly Writing Challenge – Ghosts of December 23rds Past

  1. I think you have been brave to write this post. Sue

  2. Author Catherine Townsend-Lyon says:

    I to am sorry for all your loss. My brother-in-law and my best friend I lost to cancer. But you did say it, that when God calls us home to help do his works in Heaven, it brings me much comfort. Even though their lives are taken in suffering, my personal thoughts on this, it’s is the “Evil Man” downstairs trying a last ditch attempt to get us to turn away from our Creator. But OUR FAITH is much stronger for his tricks! Amen.
    Wonderful post & writing challenge entry!
    God Bless,
    Author Catherine Lyon 🙂

  3. Martha Kennedy says:

    We don’t get to keep anyone. All we have is the knowledge that they were here and we had the opportunity to love them. I’ve decided that is a LOT.

  4. bikerchick57 says:

    I’m so sorry that you have lost your parents and a brother to cancer. I hope this Christmas has been blessed with their loving memories.

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