Their twenty-five years of marriage was coming to an end. The nightmare peaked on the day that he loaded his belongings and drove away. He turned in time to see his three kids watching out the bedroom window and whispering,” Good bye, Daddy.” For the last twenty years, Harold’s best friend had shown up at 7 o’clock every Friday night to play checkers. This Friday night, Harold waited patiently by the door. It was almost 7:30. It is the day before Christmas, and as I stood before the markers of where my mother, father, grandparents, uncles and aunts lie in eternal peace, I look back on a life of happiness, grief and regrets, and yet a childhood of love and affection. Already snow was collecting on the stones hiding the lives and memories of two loved and loving people. “Merry Christmas,” I uttered softly, turned and walked away. This is a collection of stories that will bring tears and some will bring laughter. It is a collection of real life stories.