by John Masterson
Christmas eve morning on the farm has always been a very busy time and, for that reason, I always rise early.
I sat in the kitchen near the window enjoying my freshly perked coffee.
Gazing out at the new-fallen snow I thought, how wonderful it would be to have my husband Robert here with me and the four kids.
Robert was off fighting for freedom for people he didn’t even know.
Glancing out I noticed the barn door open and to my utter dismay saw our horse Belle was missing along with the carriage.
I went to the phone to call the Sheriff but found the service to be out due to the storm.
All at once, the children came tumbling down the stairs, Elizabeth, Sara, and Evelyn but no Billy, he was always a late sleeper.
I knew the children would be broken-hearted so I decided to wait until after breakfast to tell them about Belle being taken, they loved her so much and had enough sadness with their Dad being away at Christmas.
As morning blended into the late afternoon we became concerned why Billy had not come down and we went to his room to check, he was not in his bed.
Where could he have gone?
With grave concern, we looked all over the house and all around outside.
All four of us wept and prayed for his safe return from wherever he had gone and all of a sudden we heard bells and saw Billy coming from the woods with Belle prancing with pride, and him at the reins.
On the wagon was the most beautiful and biggest fir we had ever seen.
We looked at each other at the same time and thought, even in the darkest hour, faith will shine through a ray of hope.
“Hey, c’mon folks ain’t ya gonna help me get this thing in the house?”
We had such a pleasant time that night decorating the tree, eating gingerbread, and drinking cocoa.
We all sat around thinking of the good times we had with dad and hoped for his safe return.
The phone rang and we all yelled at once “It’s working!”
Billy ran to the phone and yelled out, “Hey, it’s Dad!” We all gathered around and one by one talked for a few minutes.
Then I talked and told him how Billy had saved the day by going out to the woods and getting the tree, “Your little boy is not a little boy anymore.”
“I’ll hold the fort till you get back Dad,” yelled Billy.
We all had a chance to speak. I said, “I know you do, Robert, and I love you.”
As I spoke softly I eased into the kitchen and let the door close behind me, you see, this was a special time for just me and my husband.