Christmas in Afghanistan

Christmas in Afghanistan

Grandma didn’t know just what she’d use for the first featured article, until in her email today came the perfect piece. If you have ever been touched by any war or altercation, or are being touched now by those who are serving in today’s struggles…. This one’s for you.

Grandma cries easily at the talk of or the reality of war. Those left behind carry the grief forever of the heroic acts by young boys and girls in war. When they return, they are men and women, and their youthful days are but dim memories.

Growing up, Grandma remembers all too well how World War II could never be mentioned in conversation. Rarely, it would just happen. Sometimes it would be something on TV or just a question for her dad who was a B24 pilot in the South Pacific. In short order, her mother quickly left the room, retreating to the solitude of her bedroom for yet another cry. Her mother’s first husband was killed in Europe in the spring of 1945, just three months before their son, Grandma’s older brother, was born.

Her mother did all she could to look forward and to never look back, but any reference to the war was more than she could handle.

Grandma never truly understood until after her own mother passed. There, in her mother’s garage, was an old dresser with drawers that were more likely to stick than to open. Inside was a shoe box full of letters.

One in particular stood out.  It was from the commanding officer of the platoon in which her first husband had served.  The letter was amazingly well written by the young Captain as he described the anguish of losing his friend and fellow officer.  It went on to capture the essence of what a wonderful young man her husband was; and how intelligent, kind, and competent he had been in the leadership of the platoon.

Grandma sank to the floor of the garage that day and wept for almost two hours as the enormity of her mother’s loss became her own.

Freedom isn’t free. Some pay the price of a lifetime so we can live in peace.

Thank you, Michael Marks for writing this special Christmas poem.