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Wanda E. Brunstetter

BOOK: Wanda E. Brunstetter
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© 2005
Twice Loved
by Wanda E. Brunstetter
© 2013 Christmas extras by Wanda E. Brunstetter

ISBN 978-1-62416-267-1

eBook Editions:
Adobe Digital Edition (.epub) 978-1-62416-477-4
Kindle and MobiPocket Edition (.prc) 978-1-62416-476-7

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced transmitted for commercial purposes, except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without written permission of the publisher.

All scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any similarity to actual people, organizations, and/or events is purely coincidental.

Cover image © Kirk DouPonce, DogEared Design

Published by Barbour Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 719, Uhrichsville, Ohio 44683,
www.barbourbooks.com

Our mission is to publish and distribute inspirational products offering exceptional value and biblical encouragement to the masses
.

Printed in the United States of America

Table of Contents

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Historical Note

Wartime Recipes

Frugal Craft

About the Author

Introduction

J
apan’s unconditional surrender to the Allies on September 2, 1945, ended World War II. America and her allies rejoiced. The idea of peace had never seemed more precious than to those who had given faithful service on the home front, as well as those who had served on the battlefield.

Yet much needed to be done before peace could be achieved. Those who had lost loved ones grieved. Families of those who were classified as prisoners of war or missing in action hoped and prayed for the day when their loved ones might return home. Factories that had been engaged in the production of war materials returned to their former pursuits. Thousands of “Rosie the Riveters,” women who had replaced men who had been called to defend their country, were no longer needed. Returning military personnel further flooded the job market.

There was rejoicing and mourning, newly created problems, and the adjustment from war to peace, but the spark of hope that had kept people through the dark days of war, rationing, and personal sacrifice burned high. A weary world looked forward to a season of peace on earth, goodwill to men.

Prologue

Easton, Pennsylvania

September 1943

D
an Fisher went down on his knees in front of the sofa where his wife lay. Darcy had been diagnosed with leukemia several months earlier, and short of a miracle, he knew she wouldn’t have long to live.

“I’m almost finished with this quilt,” Darcy murmured, lifting one corner of the colorful patchwork covering she had been working on since she’d first gotten sick. It was made from various shapes of cotton and velveteen material, in shades of blue, scarlet, gold, and green, and had been hand tied. She’d been able to do much of the stitching while lying in bed or on the sofa, where she spent most of her waking hours.

Dan nodded. “It’s beautiful, honey—just like you.”

“I want you to have it as a remembrance of me.” Tears gathered in the corners of Darcy’s dark brown eyes, and she blinked them away. “It will bring you solace after I’m gone and help you remember to comfort others in need.”

Unable to voice his thoughts, Dan reached for Darcy’s hand. When she squeezed his fingers, he was amazed at the strength of her touch.

“There are things we must discuss,” she whispered.

Dan nodded, wishing they could talk about anything other than his wife’s imminent death.

“Please promise you’ll keep Twice Loved open.”

Dan knew how important Darcy’s used-toy store was to her and to all the children she had ministered to by providing inexpensive or free toys. Little ones whose fathers were away at war and those who’d been left with only one parent had received a measure of happiness, thanks to Darcy and her special store.

“I’ll keep the place going,” he promised.

“Whenever I look at this quilt, I’ll remember the labor of love that went into making it, and I’ll do my best to help others in need.”

Chapter 1

September 1945

B
ev Winters shut her desk drawer with such force that the cherished picture of her late husband toppled to the floor. Her hands shook as she bent to retrieve it, but she breathed a sigh of relief to see that the glass was intact and Fred’s handsome face smiled back at her.

Joy Lundy poked her head around the partition that separated her and Bev’s work spaces in the accounting department at Bethlehem Steel. “What happened, Bev? I heard a crash.”

Bev clutched the picture to her chest and sank into the office chair. She reached for the crumpled slip of paper on her desk and handed it to her coworker. “What a nice thing to give someone at the end of the day. I’ve got two weeks to tie up loose ends and clear out my desk.”

Joy scanned the memo, her forehead creasing as she frowned. “I heard there would be some cutbacks, now that the war is over and many of our returning men will need their old jobs back. I just didn’t realize it would be so soon—or that you’d be one of those they let go.”

Bev pulled the bottom drawer open and scooped up her pocketbook. “It’s probably for the best,” she mumbled. “I was thinking I might have to look for another job anyway.”

“You were? How come?”

Bev hung her head, feeling the humiliation of what had transpired yesterday afternoon.

Joy touched Bev’s trembling shoulder. “Tell me what’s wrong.”

“I—I—It’s nothing, really.” Bev was afraid to admit that their boss had tried to take advantage of her. What if Joy told someone and the news spread around the building? Bev’s reputation could be tarnished, and so would her Christian testimony. here at Bethlehem Steel she’d tried to tell others about Christ through her actions and by inviting them to attend church. No, it would be best if she kept quiet about what had happened with Frank Martin. She’d be leaving in two weeks anyway.

Joy tapped Bev gently on the shoulder, driving her disconcerting thoughts to the back of her mind. “I’m here if you want to talk.”

Bev nodded, as tears clouded her vision. “I–I’d better get going. I don’t want to be late picking Amy up at the sitter’s.”

Joy returned to her own desk, and Bev left the office. Bev had only taken a few steps when she bumped into a tall man with sandy-blond hair. She didn’t recognize him and figured he must not work Here or could be a returning veteran—perhaps the one who would be taking her bookkeeping position.

When the man looked down, Bev noticed that the latch on his briefcase had popped open, and several black-and-white photographs were strewed on the floor.

“I’m so sorry,” she apologized.

“It’s my fault. I wasn’t watching where I was going.” He squatted down and began to collect the pictures. “I’m here to do a photo shoot for management and can’t find the conference room. Do you know where it is?”

“Two doors down. Here, let me help you with those.” Bev knelt on the floor, unmindful of her hose that already had a small tear in them. As she helped gather the remaining photos, she almost collided with the man’s head.

For a few seconds, he stared at Bev with a look of sympathy. Could he tell she’d been crying? Did he think she was clumsy for bumping into him, causing his briefcase to open?

She handed the man his photos and stood, smoothing her dark green, knee-length skirt. “Sorry about the pictures. I hope none of them are ruined.”

He put the photos back into his briefcase, snapped it closed, and rose. “No harm done. Thanks for your help.”

“You’re welcome.”

The man hesitated a moment, like he wanted to say something more, but then he strode down the hallway toward the conference room.

BOOK: Wanda E. Brunstetter
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