Jackie walked to the mailbox on a bright summers day and finally found the long awaited letter. She dropped all the other letters on the table inside and quickly opened the letter unfolding the paper inside. Her son, Timmy wrote of the weather and some good friends he had made. He then wrote, “Mom, I’ve been thinking a lot about dad and the life that he lived. He gave his life for others. That’s why I’m here today.” He signed off, “You are what I’m fighting for. Love from your son, Timmy.”
She held the letter close to her heart, remembering the first letter she had received 26 years ago from war. It had been from her husband, Edward off in France. He too had written about weather and friends. Even though Timmy could barely remember his father, Jackie saw Edward in everything Timmy did. Oh, how she hated him fighting in a war so far from home, but he knew what he was fighting for.
She sat down at her desk pulled out some paper and wrote to Timmy as she prayed. She wrote that she loved him; of how proud she was of him fighting for freedom, how brave he was and what a good father he’d be someday. She folded up the paper, placed it in an envelope and on the front wrote, Be Safe. After that night she wrote every night just like she had years ago.
As summer slowly changed into to autumn and autumn into winter, Jackie prepared for Christmas. She knew it was going to be a lonely this year, but nothing could have prepared her for the news to come.
She had to shovel a path to the mailbox the snow was so thick, but she had waited a long time for a new letter to arrive that deep snow drifts weren’t going to stop her. When she opened the mailbox and looked inside she saw one letter that looked like it had traveled a long way. She opened it right then and there not even taking the time to go to the warm house to read it. The words stung her worse then the bitter cold she was surrounded by. The writer of the letter was named Josiah and he explained that he had been fighting alone up on a hill, shots were ringing out all around him, and bombs were exploding. Then Josiah was shot down. A man came back for him and though the man was captured he set Josiah free. That man was Timmy. Timmy asked Josiah to write to his mother and Josiah swore he would.
Jackie fell to her knees and prayed Timmy was living. She then picked herself up walked back to the house and sat down at her desk like she did everyday. She kept writing each day. Jackie kept on hoping and believing.
Then two years later a car pulled up running over all the dry leaves on the ground. Jackie knew who drove that kind of car and she fell to the ground. Out stepped a captain who ran over to Jackie.
He said, “Mom, I’m following orders from all of your letters and I’ve come home, safe.” And there in his hand he held all of his letters from war.
(A story I wrote inspired by the song “Letters From War” by Mark Schultz)