The Last Christmas Ride is an inspiring story of a woman who overcomes heartbreak and adversity through faith and family and emerges stronger than ever. It reminds us that all of us have obstacles on our life journey, and we must try to experience and share the joy of life along the way.
The story begins with the four Blackburn children in an idyllic setting on a northern Alabama farm. Their days are filled with horse riding, wild adventures, elaborate fantasies, and climbing to the top of a nearby Indian mound to dream about their futures. They can hardly anticipate what will happen to them. One of the family’s strongest traditions occurs just before Christmas each year and persists even to adulthood. The Blackburn children ride their horses off in search of the perfect Christmas tree for the family, singing carols on the way, then bring the tree home and decorate it.
Their idyllic existence takes a tragic turn when David, the oldest brother, is killed in an automobile accident during his freshman year at college. The daughter, Edie, begins her own career but remains close to her two remaining brothers and much younger sister. Only a few years later, Phillip, the youngest brother, is killed in an auto accident.
It takes an even stronger faith and a positive attitude for Edie to overcome this latest blow, but Grandma Alice reminds her that God is using her to give hope to others along the way. Her greatest test occurs later when her only surviving brother, Terry, develops a brain tumor.
The surgery leaves him a shell of his former self, and Edie and her sister spend as much time with him as they can. Everyone knows it’s only a matter of time. A few days before Christmas, Terry asks Edie if she will help him take one last Christmas ride, something she promised she would do.
It is all she and her sister can do to get him on his horse, but he is able to sit in the saddle long enough to walk around the yard for a few minutes, with Edie on her horse nearby, holding him up, just like their Christmas rides as children to find the perfect holiday tree.
When Terry dies a few days later, Edie realizes that her grandmother was right. Our ride through life has its rough places, but we can do much good along the way if we stay strong through faith and rely on our family. She vows never to take life for granted or to be too busy to enjoy the ride in her journey through life.
Despite the almost overwhelming tragedies, The Last Christmas Ride is an uplifting story based on actual people and events. About the Author; Edie Hand is a best-selling author, celebrity chef, businesswoman, inspirational speaker, and radio and television personality. Her previous books include Recipes for Life, All Cooked Up, and A Country Music Christmas.
She lives in Dora, Alabama. Jeffery Addison is an award-winning broadcast/radio personality, and author. In addition to his writing, he manages a full-service advertising and public relations agency. He and his wife live in Indian Springs Village, Alabama.
By Edie Hand; Jeffery Addison