Anna shivered and wrapped herself tighter in her quilt, the cold New England wind whistling outside.
It was nights like these that Anna missed Will the most.
She stared into the fire, a lone tear trailing down her cheek. Even though it had been three years since she had been told of his disappearance, she could still hear his voice as if he were in the room with her, echoing in the walls of her heart.
They had only been married a few short weeks before Will felt the call to help the militia fight the British and fight for freedom. Anna remembered that it was a cold autumn night much like this one when he left. Tears welled up in her eyes as she remembered what he’d written her in the numerous letters she had.
My beautiful angel, I will come home to you.
Then, the day came when all her hopes and dreams were shattered.
“Your husband’s been captured by the British. We don’t know where they’ve taken him.” Anna had struggled in vain for months afterward trying to find his whereabouts. But every trail led to a dead end, every road led to heartache.
Months passed, then years. “Anna, dear,” her mother had told her, “it’s been so long now. Surely word would have come by now where he’s been taken. I fear…I fear he might have died.”
“If he had died, Mama,” Anna had said with resolve, “I would have felt it. My heart would have known.” She had told that to scores of relatives and neighbors. She knew what they really thought. They thought she’d gone mad from grief.
She did not care. She began to rely fully on God, trusting in Him to deliver her husband. Each night she breathed a simple prayer to her Lord: “Please bring him home to me.” She knew God would somehow, even if to bring her closure, even if it meant him coming home dead.
I will come home to you.
The words resonated in her heart as strongly now as ever before. She could not give up. She would not give up.
Lord, I know you will bring him back…
Anna drifted off into a restless sleep, images of her beloved racing through her head. She dreamed of their wedding day, remembering the joy she had felt and the love that had overwhelmed her. She remembered his eyes, the brilliant shade of green that made her think of the forest in the summer. Most of all she remembered his embrace and the security it brought her.
Anna shifted in her chair at the sound of the door closing and a draft of cold air. The fire had gone out long ago and the morning sun was beginning to shine through the window.
She shifted in her chair again, wanting to stay asleep forever. She wanted to keep this dream, so genuine that she could hear his voice as if he were standing there in the room with her.
“Anna, darling…wakes up.”
The voice was trembling. And it was all too audible to be a dream.
She opened her eyes with a start and saw Will, standing there in front of her. For a moment, she could not breathe. She could not comprehend if this was a continuation of a dream or not. She’d had so many before… maybe she was losing her mind.
“Anna?” The dream image of her husband knelt down. “My love…my darling…I’m here. It’s Will.” He had tears streaming down his face as he put a hand up to hers, caressing her. His brilliant green eyes stared into hers, full of love and pain.
It was no dream.
She shook as she touched his face, scarred by the marks of war. Her lip trembled; she wanted to cry and laugh at the same time. God had brought him home!
“Will! Oh, Will! Oh my love! I…I…”
“SSShhh,” he whispered in her ear. She felt his embrace and relaxed in his arms. “I’ve come home to you. I’ve come home…at last.”
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