My friend Kell (Kellyn Roth) has an amazing contest going on her blog! You can check it out here: https://kellynroth.blog/2018/12/17/kind-and-other-updates/
Thanks so much for doing the contest, Kell! ❤
Without further ado here is my entry: I’ll Be Home Even If I’m Late!
“I’ll be home for Christmas,” I had said. Yet, I am failing to keep my promise.
“You can plan on me!” I had told my little sister swinging her into a hug and falling down breathless at her birthday party.
I fall to the floor in my prison cell in Germany, in the year 1943.
I had not wanted to leave home for this war, but I would not be a coward as my Dad had been. I wasn’t supposed to be a soldier, I was supposed to be a pastor like my uncle and grandfather before me.
“Please have snow and mistletoe” I sang while returning my schoolwork to the bookshelf. But my voice broke off when I saw a photograph of my older brother, my voice dropped away. I sighed at the memories. Memories of my brother and I dancing and singing I’ll be home for Christmas at the top of our lungs on my seventeenth birthday.
Nearly a year before my brother had promised he would be here for Christmas, but now there were only ten days until Christmas, and I saw no way of him returning in time for Christmas. I went to the front window wishing that the war would end soon, and stop taking the people I love from me, first the boy I love and now the mayhaps the one brother that still lives.
“And presents on the tree,” I thought with a slight smile as I heard the guards come closer with dinner.
Coming to my cell, they shoved in a measly plate with dry bread and a small cup of dirty water. With a sigh, I pick up the bread, dip it in the water, and return it to the plate, bowing my head. I pray aloud, “Lord, I know that You have a plan and that all things happen in your perfect time, but I am struggling in keeping my faith in You. I ask that you strengthen me, and protect my family. Thank You for providing me with this food, and the warmth even though it is a prison, in Jesus name, Amen.”
“Come on, American, you’re acting like it’s Christmas or something, and it’s making me sick!” The British soldier in the cell beside me growled.
“Christmas Eve will find me,” I reply quickly eating and laying back, eyes closing and heart flowing.
I wonder if the Christmas of 1944 will be the last I’ll spend without my brother. “Where the lovelight gleams” plays in the background as my family and I decorate the Christmas tree standing in the family room of my home, my youngest sister and her best friend singing along with the radio. The doorbell rings. I share a questioning look with my uncle, he goes to answer the door.
“I’ll be home for Christmas” I whisper as I limp towards the small farmhouse coated in snow, the barn doors closed, and the animals sleeping, but my gaze is focused on the small farmhouse, my gaze rests on the girls – no, young women-decorating the Christmas tree standing tall in the Christmas lit house. I had been worried I would never see it again, and I thought, “If only in my dreams.”
Smiling I raise my hand to knock. With a shallow breath, I let my hand fall and I lean my head against the door. Listening to the voices of my family drift through, and they’re singing, “I’ll be home for Christmas.” With a deeper breath, I raise my hand again and bring it down on the door, my knock sounding throughout the house. I listen as the voices stopped, the only sound now able to be heard is the radio. After what feels like forever I hear the door being unlocked. In the doorway stands my uncle, behind him my sisters’ heads peeking out of the family room, “Hi, Uncle. When I left, I told you that I would be home for Christmas, and I may be late but …” I trailed off.
My slightly younger sister came forward, running to hug me and whispers: “You can plan on me.”
I stand in the family room hands wrapped around a mug of hot chocolate, I could still hear my sisters singing “Please have snow and mistletoe,” earlier today. Yet, my heart broke that my younger sister was grieving for her lost love, and my Mom wasn’t here with us even if she is in a better place, and it also broke my heart that the girl I was sweet on before the war is away with her family.
“Son, are you sure that you’re well?” My uncle sat in his chair by the twinkling Christmas tree. His eyes resting on me softly, as though he knows that I didn’t tell the truth.
“I … I’m not sure if I will ever be “well,” I know that God still cares but…” I trail off as I sit down in the chair beside my uncle’s.
“But sometimes I wonder why he let me live when normal things like snow falls, people heal, wars end, people die…” My voice broke.
My uncle smiled sadly, “And presents on the tree, and still, Christmas Eve will find me.”
“Yes, sir,” I reply, “It hurts when life goes on even after a loss,” I stretch out my bad leg, “and sometimes I wonder if it’s my fault.”
“It’s not your fault in any way, Son. Things happen for a reason, we can only control our responses and actions, not someone else’s choices or actions,” My uncle says quietly.
“We need to follow God and not others.” I whisper watching the Christmas lights, “And hopefully we’ll be there-where the lovelight gleams!” I smile slightly,
“Goodnight, Uncle.” I go up the stairs softly whistling, “I’ll be home for Christmas. If only in my dreams!” as I peek in on each of my sisters, before going to my own room. I sit on my bed, looking out as the snow covers the farm around me. And yet, here I was sitting in my home, right in time for Christmas!
If you couldn’t tell it is based off of the song I’ll Be Home For Christmas!
This is copyrighted, please do not steal it! (I do not own the right to I’ll Be Home For Christmas, duh!)
Did you like it? Are you going to enter the contest?