12/18/10

35 A Soldier's Story

On a cold Christmas night, a mother sat alone in a hospital room holding her newborn son. She rocked the infant in her arms.

“I’d sing you a lullaby, my love, if I had a song.” The mother stroked the face of her baby. “But my voice is weak and I have no rhythm.” She gazed out the window, a longing in her eyes. Then the mother reached into the pocket of her robe and withdrew a folded slip of paper. “I have something much better than music,” she said meekly. “You’re father made me promise I’d share this with you.”

With a tender voice she read from the page in her shaky hand.


“I know we met, once long, long ago

In a place called heaven because I know

Without any doubt we had great joy

In our home above, my sweet little boy.



We lived there and loved without any pain

Without sorrow, or sadness or financial gain.

Then called to earth to grow and to learn

Our unmarked paths were hard to discern.



But I met your kind mother, a woman so true

Without her and great faith, there wouldn’t be you.

Although our family is one that’s quite small

I hold it dear, most precious of all.



I may not be there with you to play games

Or cards or watch sports or build stations with trains.

I will miss your first words, the giggles and smiles

Each step, your accomplishments and even the trials.



It’s adverse but true, my sweet little boy

That life brings us lemons along with the joy

I know that the journey will be long and quite rough

Be there for your mother, stay strong, kind and tough.



For those who are smart and tender and meek

They learn when they’re hurt to turn their cheek.

They comfort the weary, the sick and the sad

They find ways to be happy when things turn out bad.



There’s comfort in knowing we’ll meet once more.

It’s a grand place called heaven with a welcoming door.

We lived there before and were filled with great joy

I’ll see you someday, my sweet little boy.”



The mother gazed into the face of her baby and a tear rolled down her cheek. “In the morning we’ll go home and you’ll meet your daddy,” she said. Then she placed the baby in the bassinette and lay down to sleep.

When the morning’s rays seeped into the room the mother gathered her infant son and her things, then drove to her small apartment. A Christmas wreath hung on the door and baskets of flowers flooded the steps. Although she was grateful for the thoughts and wishes, she left them in place, never touching them or reading their cards.

Inside her humble home, she noticed the undecorated tree, the boxes of ornaments still strewn on the floor. She continued past it, to her room, chose a blue dress – the one her husband always said made her eyes sparkle – and slipped it on. After she put up her hair, she walked with her infant son a quarter mile to the chapel.

“Mrs. Chambers,” the Chaplain said as he shook her hand.

The mother nodded without saying a word, then gazed around at all the people seated in the pews. She walked slowly down the aisle straight towards the pulpit. “Thank you,” she said simply. There were no other words.

She took her seat and listened while the Chaplain spoke. His words filled her head and she struggled to make sense of it all. But as he testified of bravery and valor, Mrs. Chambers felt a stirring within.

When the Chaplain finished, Mrs. Chambers stood. “Chaplain – wait.” She raced towards the pulpit. “I have something else to say.”

He stepped back and waved his hand, guiding Mrs. Chambers forward. “Of course,” he said gently. “Take all the time you need.”

She approached the microphone, unsure of what to say or how she’d hold herself together. She reached into the pocket of her dress, curling her fingers around the folded slip of paper. “I’d like to recite a poem.” With a confidence she didn’t know she had, she patted her pocket and withdrew her hand. “My husband wrote it before he left,” she said. “However, I’ve made a few changes.” She stroked the face of her baby, holding back the tears which waited to make a display down her cheeks. Then, gazing out at the crowd, she recited, from memory, a poem.



“I know we met, once long, long ago

In a place called heaven because I know

Without any doubt we shared a great love

One that was divine, a gift from above.



We lived there and loved without any pain

Without sorrow, or sadness or financial gain.

Then called to earth to grow and to learn

Our unmarked paths were hard to discern.



Mine brought me to you - a man true and brave

Who saluted the flag with each and every wave.

A soldier so noble, with valor and honor

You’d make a great husband, friend and sweet father



You may not be here for the journey ahead

Some soft words of love will be left unsaid

I’ll miss your great warmth, your love, your kind smiles

Each hug, each kiss and even the trials.



It’s adverse but true, my sweet husband dear

That life won’t be the same when you are not near

I doubt not, that you are without pain and grief

It is my only comfort, my solace, relief.



For you were smart, tender and meek

You learned when you hurt to turn your cheek.

You comforted the weary, the sick and the sad

You found ways to be happy when things turned out bad.



There’s comfort in knowing we’ll meet once more

It’s a grand place called heaven with a welcoming door.

For we lived there before in the blue sky above.

We’ll join hands there again, forever, my love.”



When she finished speaking, she listened briefly to the soft sobs of her friends and family. But she tried her best to maintain her composure and walked back to her seat in the front row of the chapel.

The Chaplain stood again and said some final words which Mrs. Chambers never really heard. Her broken heart was aching too much.

At the end of the service after everyone had gathered their things, paid their respects and given their condolences, she sat in quiet reflection. After a while she walked to the front of the chapel and knelt on the low bench at the side of the casket. “Nicholas,” she said softly as she held the baby close to his father. “I’d like you to meet your daddy.” The mother soothed her baby and looked into the sweet face of her husband. “Nick, meet your son.”

With all the strength she had, she kissed her husband’s cheek one last time. She ran her fingers against the fabric flag strewn across her husband’s casket. “I’ll see you once more,” she said. “It’s a grand place called heaven with a welcoming door.”

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

this gets my vote

MDYBYU said...

I vote for this one.

Anonymous said...

As a prior service, I vote for this one

Anonymous said...

I vote for this one

Anonymous said...

I vote for this one.

Amie B said...

sweet story! i think this reflects the fears and the sacrifice that so many make to keep us all safe.

Amie B said...

this one gets my vote!

Anonymous said...

nice story and gets my vote

Anonymous said...

Very touching...... Great Writer!!

Anonymous said...

Nice Story

Anonymous said...

yeah huh

Rita said...

wonderful truth stirring a spirit to the desire of everlasting unions of a family forever.This definitely is my vote!

Anonymous said...

I vote for this story. It is very touching and heart warming. The story shows the powe of love

Anonymous said...

This story gets my vote. It is very touching. It brought tears to my eyes.

Anonymous said...

This one gets my vote!!

Rose Cooper said...

This story left me with tears in my eyes and warmth in my heart. I VOTE for this one.

~T~ said...

This could be a country song. Do you have a tune for it? So bittersweet.

Anonymous said...

This one gets my vote.

Kelly said...

I almost cried, but I hate to cry, so I didn't. This short story holds tremendous emotion and a very sad truth. I have to vote for it.