Friday, December 16, 2005

Weekend before Christmas 2005

Wow, how time flies! I've had intentions of making a second quilted picture album for my aunt and cousin in Florida, but it's only half-way done. From the way things are going, they're going to be mailed late. I still have to wrap everything I've purchased for my friends and family, which will probably take me most of tomorrow evening. Then, I've got to plan for our Christmas Eve and our Christmas Day meals and purchase all of that stuff sometime on Thursday, when I'm off from work. Thank goodness I still have a week and a half of vacation left.

Belinda and I went shopping last Tuesday. We went through the Rite Aid Drug Store in Hopewell and bought everything we could think of that Steven would need/want in Iraq. And then we bought some goodies to go in with that as well. The package was mailed today! I'm sure he's going to wonder who's bright idea it was to "shrink-wrap" everything in Seal-A-Meal bags. (Mine) But, I've had a little experience in the past in sending packages to my Dad in Viet Nam and know that everything needs to be packed tight and sealed real well to keep rodents, moisture, etc. out of the package. That's how things get there in one piece and usable. So, Steven, if you read this, I hope you enjoy all your goodies when you get them. I don't think it will get there before Christmas, but it should get there real soon afterward. If it's too much for you to keep in your footlocker, keep what you want and share the rest with your friends.

My Aunt Paulean in Florida sent me a poem via e-mail the other day and I want to attach it to my blog today. It really touched my heart to read it and I'm sure it will touch yours too. So, until next time, may the good Lord bless you all.

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light, I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight. My wife was asleep, her head on my chest, My daughter beside me, angelic in rest. Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white, Transforming the yard to a winter delight. The sparkling lights in the tree I believe, Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve. My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep, Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep. In perfect contentment, or so it would seem, So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream. The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near, But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear. Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow. My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear, And I crept to the door just to see who was near. Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night, A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight. A soldier, I puzzle, some twenty years old, Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold. Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled, Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child. "What are you doing?" I asked without fear, "Come in this moment, it's freezing out here! Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve, You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!" For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift, Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts. To the window that danced with a warm fire's light Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right, I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night." "It's my duty to stand at the front of the line, That separates you from the darkest of times. No one had to ask or beg or implore me, I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me. My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December," Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers." My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam', And now it is my turn and so, here I am. I've not seen my own son in more than a while, But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile. Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag, The red, white, and blue... an American flag. "I can live through the cold and the being alone, Away from my family, my house and my home. I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet, I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat. I can carry the weight of killing another, Or lay down my life with my sister and brother. Who stand at the front against any and all, To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall." "So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright, Your family is waiting and I'll be all right." "But isn't there something I can do, at the least, "Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast? It seems all too little for all that you've done, For being away from your wife and your son." Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret, "Just tell us you love us, and never forget. To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone, To stand your own watch, no matter how long. For when we come home, either standing or dead, To know you remember we fought and we bled. Is payment enough, and with that we will trust, That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.


Blogger Julia M. said...

I'm so glad that you and Belinda got a chance to send Steven a package, he is going to so happy, you just don't understand! The Poem is absolutely beautiful!

9:28 PM  
Blogger Julia M. said...


1:02 PM  

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