One of the soldiers we (and some of you) have been supporting through cards and packages came home yesterday. sigh, big sigh of relief. He looked a little rough and tired. He got off the plane at Sea-Tac, his dad picked him up and went directly to Mr. Rights’s office. To shake hands. period. Nothing needed to be said. Oh sure, you know who said “Welcome Home Soldier.” They were both mighty glad to look at the whites of each others’ eyes and be able to shake hands. I am sure a million and one things crossed both their minds. I am glad he is home, safe and will be able to stay for the rest of the Christmas holiday. Time to breathe, regroup and then be on his way to his new base in Texas.
It was Fort Sill, Oklahoma and Mr. Right was not able to come home for Christmas. Son number one was 9 and son number two was 6 years old. I was worried about the day. So needless to say, over planned.
The three of us attended candle light services the night before. We did not get home until after midnight. (I shouldn’t even go into two particular boys who were alter boys that night and began sword fighting with the brass candle lighters in front of the congregation.) It was a very long walk up that isle for me. In front of all the people. I said nothing. I just walked to the front and sat in the first row. People made room for me, not a word was said. Everyone just held their breath and watched me take a seat. Nothing needed to be said.
Christmas morning came around and yes, Santa had left presents and stockings were filled. Once the gift opening was finished we had a hearty breakfast and took showers, we had a date to keep. You see, I knew better than to sit home and feel sorry for ourselves. So, we had signed up to serve Christmas dinner at a homeless shelter. They served dinner from noon to 3 pm. We dressed. We arrived early and were instantly put to work. I got to cut pies and bread and cakes and more pies. I saw son number one helping with chairs and talking, talking and greeting everyone. He was helping to bring more food and he was pouring water. That was his job, keep those water glasses filled and keep the food coming. He was doing an amazing job for a 9 year old. I didn’t see son number two at first. I was getting worried. I was ready to go find him. I kept looking around. The gal in charge asked if everything was okay? I said no, I could not find my son. She said relax, he is working………….see there he is. Yep, that was his him alright. I guess I didn’t recognize my blond, toe headed short 6 year old boy with an apron on, serving COFFEE! HOT coffee. Yep, walking around keeping every one’s cup full. WHAT? HOT COFFEE, he is not old enough to serve hot beverages! The gal in charge said, I beg to differ. He seems to be holding his own, not spilling a drop and keeping everyone happy. I went back to my assigned job.
Those hours flew by. When we were done and climbed back into the van, no words were needed. We were all tired. We had all done a great job.
Home to change and go to the college (only place around with any sort of hills). Those new skateboards were calling their names. So we drove over and they played and played and played like 9 & 6 year old boys are suppose to. I sat and looked over a new cookbook someone had given me.
We headed home for some dinner and we put a video in the VCR. Everyone fell asleep watching it.
The day had been filled to overflowing. I was trying to keep us all busy. When it was time for bed, I heard no pleadings for just “five more minutes”. Nothing. No words were needed. We had made it through the day.
We made it through the day. God shed his Grace on thee. During 22 years serving in the Army, luckily I can say that was our only Christmas that Mr. Right had to miss. It was difficult, yet he was not in harms way.
Today, I will pray for grace for the families that will be spent with one person still serving in harms way. Nothing needs to be said, just prayers lifted for them all.
God, please shed your Grace on thee.