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Tidings of Comfort and Joy
by Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
They met during the holiday season and married in May. Jessica savored every moment of happiness with her beloved husband Johnny but their newlywed bliss is shattered when he’s caught in a storm on the lake on the Fourth of July. First missing, then presumed dead, Johnny Devereaux appears to be gone and everyone mourns him except his wife. Jessica refuses to believe he could be dead and she steadfastly refuses to give up hope that he is alive and will return.
As the months pass, each holiday is another reminder of his absence and it becomes harder to believe but she refuses to yield to despair. As his family, especially his brother Tad, struggles to accept Johnny’s death, only his great-grandmother and bride hang onto their hope. Jessica comes to believe he’ll return to her at Christmas so the holiday takes on new significance as she waits for tidings of comfort and joy.