Christmas of 1944

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Pixabay; found on Pexels

Christmas is for spending time with your family. But what if your family has been torn apart by war?

Linda, Guest Writer

The wind outside whipped and wailed, the snow gleamed from the moonlight bouncing off into my eyes. The house was almost dark. Except for my room, there was no light in the house. In my window, a lone candle stood, flickering and sputtering and hoping to go out.

Tomorrow was Christmas, the Christmas of 1944. It was going to be a very hard Christmas, in my mind at least, for Father was gone fighting the war and Mother would have to go work in the gun factory, even though it was a holiday.

The tree was standing in our living room, of course, I had helped put it there myself. There was only a present per person, wrapped up in newspaper, underneath it, but that didn’t really bother me. The whole reason Christmas felt so messed up was because of Father.

It was the fact that Mother had to work and Father was still in Europe, doing his part to beat Hitler and stop the Nazis. It was the fact that we weren’t all together. The fact that Father might never come back, no matter how hard we prayed for him.

I lifted my head from my flannel pillow and stared at the only photo I had of Father, that he gave me just minutes before he left. I lifted my hand and gently caressed it, giving a little silent prayer to God that Father might be kept safe and protected from harm, no matter how many Nazis he would have to face.

As I burrowed back deeper into my warm bed and snuggled up to the pillow, I noticed a black figure walking up to the front door.

My heart caught in my throat: could it possibly be …? No, it couldn’t be. But maybe . . . what if?

I leaped out of bed and raced down the hall, tumbled down the stairs, as fast as my frilly nightgown would allow me. I dashed through the kitchen and into the parlor. I paused. What if it wasn’t?

The figure reached the door and I reached out, slowly, almost terrified that my dreams will be dashed, and grab the doorknob. I turn it, swing the door open, and the figure— he — steps inside.

I flick on the switch and he gathers me up in his arms, lifting me off the floor, and swinging me around.

“Linda, Linda.” he chokes out between sobs of joy.
“Father!” I sob, and with that one word, my family is healed and Christmas is perfect again.