Who presents this bride?

Personal Narrative
Today makes eight. For years I went to bed early. As an elementary school teacher, I had an extensive morning routine involving exercise, prayer, and a 30-minute commute. I arrived at work by 7 a.m. – well before the kiddos who often wanted to share household news as soon as they said good morning.
Because I require 7-8 hours of sleep to function well, I observed a strict bedtime of 9 p.m. My friends knew this and generally avoided calling past 8 or 8:30. From time to time an acquaintance would call too late, so I turned off my ringer at night just to play it safe. That is, until Daddy admitted his health was fading. It was shortly after Mama died. His prostate cancer wasn't a secret, yet he seemed to be…
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Relax

Personal Narrative
Relax. It made me tense because every time he said it, I thought I was already doing it. He, Daddy, insisted I wasn't. Squeezed beside him in the dark brown easy chair, we'd while away the late afternoons. He'd finish a cigarette while watching sports or news or whatever was on that time of day. Our legs stretched out, fully reclined, his head back and eyes closed, voice like a hypnotist, urging me to relax. I am relaxed! I'd protest. I'm relaxing! No, he'd disagree in that same quiet trance. Relax, he'd repeat. And on it went day after day. As the years passed, sharing the easy chair became more of a challenge. My petite build was now too much for a chair designed for one. His admonitions to relax fell…
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So long, farewell.

Personal Narrative
Thought about my daddy this morning. Not sure why he came to mind, but he's always welcome. This morning's memory was of his goodbyes. He never said goodbye. I can't recall a single time he actually used the word when departing. Whether we were separating for a couple of hours, or a couple of weeks, he always said the same thing: "So long!" He'd smile showing all his teeth, although the smile didn't quite reach his eyes. We'd wave, go our separate ways. I always did a double take, as if somehow a second look would ensure so long really meant it was time to go, but only temporarily. Remembering it now makes me as sad as it did then. I think I asked him once, about why he never said goodbye.…
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On the Timeliness of Untimely Calls

Personal Narrative
I was minding my own business. I had just pulled into the parking lot of a local pharmacy, where I aimed to return an overpriced item. My phone rang and an unknown Atlanta number flashed on the display. I'm not great about answering unknown numbers but 1) I have a new phone and all of my contacts didn't transfer, and 2) I'm in the middle of job hunting and apartment hunting. Those things being the case, I picked up not knowing who may have been on the line. A woman responded to my hello and stammered an introduction: "Um. Hi, my name is Sharon. I'm not sure if I'm calling the right place, or if you even have anything to do with it...so this may sound strange...but I used to…
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