She had lucked out again this year, the stores were not as full as she had expected. Looking across the parking lot, she found her way of escape. A grey Ford Focus just pulled out, causing a short, but suitable traffic jam. Pulling her Mini van out of the spot, June Montgomery went over her to-do list in her mind, “Lights for the tree, cake mix, Christmas cards, a box of candy canes, and a cup of black coffee. Check and double check”.
Bags full of groceries and such, June juggled her load as she tried to find the house key. No matter how long she had lived at the stony, hut like house on Lake Michigan, it never cease to fail her, always the wrong key. Finally, after much fiddling, she fit the key into the lock and as she opened the door, her 7 year old daughter May threw her arms around her.
“Mama, did you bring home Teddy? I want Teddy, I want Teddy”, she screamed.
“Hold on now honey, you know I cannot bring him home. Teddy does not live at Wal-Mart. He has been gone for over two years now. Aren’t you a little old to be acting this way?”
“But I want Teddy”, she spoke sadly tromping herself back into the house.
Shaking her head June put everything away, grabbed her coffee and settled herself into her corner of the den. Picking up the box of cards, she opened it, and took out a sparking card, showing the three wise men, bending down before the King of Kings. She always loved the pictures that Joni drew, amazing how God could turn such a heartbreak into a heart- make!
After about an hour, June had finally finished her annual Christmas Cards. The last one though, took her the longest. Her oldest son away from home, got the longest letter of all. Hopefully, his job and schooling would allow him to come home this time.
“Dinner was wonderful as always, honey.” Dan spoke lovely to his wife of 20 years. “Did you remember to prepare the guest room for the International student from Grace Bible College in who is coming over in a 30 minutes?” “Yes darling”, I did, June replied. I even put up a new picture for him. Did you happen to find out what nationality he is?” “No, they did not tell me, but they did say that his fiancée would be coming over to visit this evening as well”, he said.
“What on earth! How come no one tells me these things, now I have to go pick up some more cake mix”, June said with drama in her voice. Sighing loudly, she was about to step into the living room and grab her coat, when her cell-phone rang. “Hello, this is June, can I help you?” “Yes, My name is Mary, and my husband-to-be is supposed to be there soon. Is there anyway you can come pick me up at the bus station?” June was worn out already but said, “Of course I will, give me 10 minutes, and I will be in a blue mini-van.: “Thanks so much,” Mary replied.
Mary was a lovely girl, with dark black hair, and a Southern accent. “How did you meet your fiancée?” June asked as she drove the frost lined roads back to home. “Online actually, he takes online courses, and we met on the message boards about 3 months ago.” Mary said. “That is very quick.” June thought.
Once back inside, Mary had just finished the cakes and was now frosting them, when she saw a red envelope with her name on it. “Funny, I thought I had read all the Christmas Cards.” she said out loud. Tearing it open, she found a picture of a U.S. solider hugging a child. Opening it up, she read a hand written note saying, “Mom, thanks for the Christmas card. Love, Theodore.”
Spinning around, May grabbed her mother’s hand and pulled her into the living room saying, “Mama, my Teddy is here. You brought him back!! Look Miss Mary, its my Teddy! He’s home from the war!”
With tears streaming down her face, June was flabbergasted. The Christmas card from her son, was the best present ever, but even more so, was her son, Sergeant Teddy Montgomery assistant to the Army Surgeon General, back from the war in Iraq
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