Friday, October 21, 2011

Simply Held, 2010

Peacar, winter, 2010

Jorge and Jolie are 43, Grace Elise is 15, Ashlee is 12, Esther is 8, Chase and Amyra are 7

Optional Soundtrack: Heaven is the Face-Steven Curtis Chapman

"Hold still, the light is still blinking."

"When do we smile?"

"Ok, now! Smile!"

Grace Elise tried to grin as the flash lit up the room. She was still in awe that she made it to see another Christmas with her family.

It had been a wonderful Christmas Eve. The morning was spent eating her favorite chocolate chip pancakes and scrambled eggs. Then she convinced her family to spend the whole day in their pajamas. Without hesitation, they all agreed. It was still something Grace Elise was getting used to. All she had to do was mention how nice something would be and like magic it was done without question.

"Darn it!" Jolie shouted as she opened the oven to allow the cloud of smoke to fill the room.

She lifted the crispy roast and she wanted to cry. She was trying so hard to make everything perfect. She wanted Grace Elise to enjoy this Christmas since the odds were that she wouldn't be around to see another one. Everything was planned as much as it could be. She was making all of Grace Elise's favorite foods and the children had spent the days helping to decorate everything.

"What's wrong, mami?" Amyra said entering the kitchen.

"I burnt the roast..."

"That's ok, you have extra ingredients. Just make another one."

"Another one. You're right." Jolie quickly took out the items that she needed.

"Ooo and we can make cookies while you work on it."

"Cookies? We're making cookies?" Ashlee asked entering the hub of excitement.
She put a large smile on her face as the smells of the kitchen tickled her nose. She was surprised that they didn't get a ticket for tacky holiday decorations. Everywhere she looked there was something for the holidays. The twins had colored and cut-out snowmen to decorate the kitchen island, there were big plaid bows everywhere and it seemed as if every available space was crammed with something representing the joy of Christmas.
"I love cookies, maybe we can make some sugar ones...for santa." Grace Elise said winking.
"Yes, please can we make cookies? Please?"
"Yes, of course. Ashlee, do you mind making the cookies while I finish the second roast."
Grace Elise smiled watching her family move about the kitchen adding items to bowls, rubbing meats to coax the delicate flavors from them and laughing over jokes. She tried not to cry, but sometimes it was so hard. She didn't want to leave all of this. She tried to take in every detail, every smell and sound.
"Dinner's ready," Jolie announced as she took the second juicier roast from the oven.
Jorge smiled at his family as they surrounded the table. He couldn't help looking over at Grace Elise, his hija, his little girl. He desperately searched her face, etching each detail into his mind. The brightness of her green eyes that mirrored his own, her wide smile and the musical notes in her laughter.
He turned back to his meal and wondered if the grieving process would be different if they didn't know that each day could be her last. Would he still wake up in the middle of the night and enter her room and sit by her bed, thankful that her chest was still rising up and down and listening to her breaths. Would he be so angry, blaming God for daring to take his little girl away, his hija.
A loud crash in the living room startled the family from their meal and they all rushed into the room to see a rounded man standing there.
"Merry Christmas!"
"Santa!!!" Chase and Amyra squealed.
Jorge smiled, thankful that the agency had come through in time. He sat on the couch and hugged his wife close as the man handed out gifts.
Grace Elise got the new pink ballet slippers she wanted, Ashlee got the MP3 player and Esther received a portable game player. The twins got new toys and Jorge even made sure that Jolie received a new journal while she ensured that he would have a new watch. There was also a new stereo for the entire family to enjoy.
They sat there in silence long after the man snuck away leaving the little ones in awe at having met santa. They held each other's hands and tried to enjoy the scene before them. Their minds couldn't help but drift to several days earlier when they sat on the same couch in the same position, but the house was much quieter. Only the soft voice of their eldest filled their ears as she calmly handed them small electronic sticks.
"What is it?"
"It's me, my voice," she had said so calmly. "Whenever you think of me...or if you get sad, just play it."
Jorge pressed play on his thin stick and Grace Elise's voice filled the room. She was singing the song that he would sing to her whenever she was sick or scared. He had tried hard not to cry, but the tears fell freely from his eyes that day.
"I can't believe that he came early!"
"Do you think he'll come again tomorrow morning?"
"I can't believe you like him."
"Whatever," Ashlee responded. "Which boy do you like? I bet it's Bryant."
Grace Elise laughed. "Actually, I don't even like guys. I like girls."
"I can't believe that I used to worry about's funny how death puts things in perspective."
"Don't say that,"
"It does," Grace Elise sighed. "It changes so much."
"Are you tired?" Jolie asked from the couch, "Are you ready for bed?"
Grace Elise shook her head as she leaned against the couch. She didn't want the moment to end. Technically it was a little after midnight and she was thankful that she had officially made it to see Christmas Day. She wanted to hold onto the moment forever.
"Could we sleep downstairs tonight? All in the same room?"
Jorge nodded quickly and Ashlee ran upstairs to get pillows. Soon the family was spread across the floor, surrounded by the empty gift boxes and crumbled wrapping paper.
Jolie turned over to an empty space and lifted her head.
Her back was killing her, she was much too old to be sleeping on the floor.
When she focused her eyes on the scene before her the pain disappeared instantly to be replaced by another.
Her husband wouldn't meet her eyes, but she knew. She knew by the wet marks that scarred his cheeks. She knew by the way he held their daughter tightly in his arms.
She crawled over to them, her heart breaking with each movement. Her eyes clouded with the tears and her silent sobs racking her body.
When she touched her body, it was chilled to the touch. Her tiny body felt as light as it did that day fifteen simyears ago when she entered the world. They held her tightly as the fire died and their children slept soundly surrounding them, unaware that Grace Elise had slipped quietly from this world.
They held her one last time, their hearts aching, their eyes red and noses raw from their spent sorrow. Her hair still smelled like her favorite shampoo and her lips were stained with the remains of chocolate chip cookies. Some of the things that they would now miss with her gone.

They held her one last time, before the morning sun found that the Christmas joy would be missing from one family. They simply held their daughter, like all parents hold their children.
They held each other and cradled their daughter in their arms, much like the day she was born. That day when they felt the weight of her in their arms and they vowed to keep her safe from harm. Now they held her, wishing that they could have protected her, could have kept her safe from harm.


  1. I still haven't read everything from the beginning, but you don't need that to get completely overwhelmed. What a heartbreaking chapter. It made me cry. Wonderfully written.

  2. *brushes tear away*

    I don't know what to say. You really are an excellent writer, and this update was a very difficult one to get through. I will miss Grace Elise and I wish she had managed to get through this - hopefully my ROS for the rotation I'm just starting won't be as tragic as yours.

    Deepest sympathies to Grace Elise's family from VT and all the Sims of Kulo Seeri.

  3. Gah, absolutely heartbreaking. Even though I knew it was coming. I can't lie, I cried a little! So sad for the family. I'm sure Christmas won't ever be the same for them.

  4. So touching and sweet and sad. I hope her spirit lives on in the memory of her last family Christmas. :,(

  5. Oh, this was just heartbreaking! I knew it was coming but still...

    I'm so glad Grace Elise got one last perfect Christmas with her family before she died. I think Christmas is always hard when there's somebody missing but it's going to be especially hard for Grace Elise's family in the future, now that it's also the anniversary of her death. :(

  6. Nonikk63, thank you so much, I'm still in awe that you are reading from the beginning, thanks for reading.

    VT, I really didn't want to do this ROS, but I knew that that was the point of ROSs. I had so many plans for Grace Elise so it was sad having to let them go and having her let them go in the face of death.

    Danie, I must admit, that was the hardest part of writing this update. It was expected and yet, just because it was expected didn't mean it would be easy. Thanks for reading.

    Em, Grace Elise is their oldest and for a long time, the only child. Jolie and Jorge will never forget this Christmas.

    Carla, I'm happy that Grace Elise made it to see Christmas as well, but you're right, future Christmas mornings will be very difficult for the Dawson family knowing that they lost a loved one on that day, thanks for reading.

  7. I'm misting up over here! So heartbreaking........and her parents, the pain they must feel......smh I know we all knew it was coming, but you can never truly be prepared to lose someone you love. Sending out simmy hugs to them all :/

  8. I really didn't want to read this one. But I have, and I'm super sad. I'm about to play one of my Burrego households. Such a sad time for the whole family. :(

  9. Mizzgin, you are absolutely right, no matter how "prepared" you are about death, it still hurts like hell when it arrives.

    Riverdale, I feel awful that Jodi and Zac couldn't see their niece one last time :( thanks for reading.

  10. I'm happy Grace Elise got to see Christmas too. What a shame that the holidays will be synonymous with her death now. I read this quite slowly because of what would have happened but you wrote it very beautifully.

  11. Choco, the Dawson family now has to struggle with trying to make Christmas a celebration again instead of an anniversary of sorrow, thank you for reading.

  12. Hi Starr. Since you commented on my blog three posts ago, I've been reading your blog, from Jadhira and Sandy's immigration to now. I usually will wait to comment until I've caught up, but this was too much for me not to comment on.
    I am literally wiping tears from my eyes. It was so powerful and sad, this story. I'm glad that Grace Elise made it to Christmas, technically. I had a feeling when this started that she wouldn't make it, but it didn't take the sting out of this post.
    It is tempting to use the newfound power of this kind of situation to do things like have everyone sleep on the floor and stay up late and bake cookies. I'm glad they got that picture in. Grace was so mature and strong through the whole thing, and such a trooper for her family. It was an inspiring sight. Well, off to finish catching up.

    1. Wow I am amazed that you are reading back that far. There are a lot of posts here, another way to navigate is through the Welcome Center link in the sidebar which has hints and links of how to track your favorite families or posts. I am glad that you enjoyed this post, it was one of the hardest ones for me to write as I had so many plans for Grace Elise. Thanks for reading and commenting

  13. Hi, Starr. I know you posted this ages ago, but I have recently started reading your blog from the beginning. I was going to wait until I caught up to comment, but this post was too heartbreaking and too beautiful for me to not acknowledge.

    I am heartbroken for Jolie and Jorge, but I am glad they had one last Christmas memory with all of their girls. I am loving your Apple Valley sims, and I am happy that I have many more great posts ahead of me to read.

    1. Welcome! Cookies and milk for you for reading the blog from the beginning. I know you navigated through a lot of bad writing as I found my preferred "voice". Thank you so much for reading and commenting and do not hesitate to comment on any post at any time.


Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment! :)

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