When the holidays find you in a foxhole | black and white photo of a young man in military uniform | rosevinecottagegirls.com

When The Holidays Find You In A Foxhole


Dear Mom & Pop,

Well, it’s Christmas time again, and I can only imagine the excitement back home. Of hot chocolate at our hometown holiday Christmas parade- grandpa & grandma snuggled under the old plaid blanket sitting in their chairs on the sidewalk. I can almost see Lucy marching along the route with her reindeer nose passing out candy to the kids.

Mom, I can almost smell your cookies in the oven, being baked for all the neighbors- did you make my favorite this year? Sure wish I was there to eat them them. You never could bake cookies without me picking in the dough bowl or sneaking samples of them right out of the oven when you would put them out to cool and me running off to eat my cookie with you calling after me trying to be angry but laughing at my foolishness. It’s funny the things that you miss, isn’t it?  The feeling of a soft bed under your back and fresh sheets that smell like a country breeze. The smell of coffee bubbling on the stove and fresh eggs frying in the skillet. Like the sound of your mother singing as she works in the kitchen where she doesn’t know you are listening.  I was ma. I listened to so much and there isn’t a day I don’t remember things that you and pa have told me. Things that grandpa shared out the in barn.  I carry it all with me like a man carries his treasured pocket watch and guards it closely. 

I miss you all so much. 

I’m okay. Life isn’t at all what I expected over here. The things that a person sees.  I would have never believed it if you’d have told me. 

You never ever can understand the high cost of freedom. Not until you are there. Your feet burning from the cold and your hands clenching your rifle as you are tucked into a trench.  Your ears ringing from the constant shelling and gunfire. You peek out over the icy edge of the trench and you see it. You see it in the faces of those you called brother and friend, you see it in the boys from the other side that you call foe, you see it in the starving faces of the people that you liberate in small towns and villages. They know the cost of freedom. 

Billy says hi and thanks for the socks. You don’t know how much a good pair of socks means to a soldier. Poor Billy, he has not had one letter from home. He pretends it doesn’t bother him but I know it does so I share mine. I read them aloud to all the fellows and the guys all love it.  They all got a good laugh out of Jenny’s fruit cake coming out like a doorstop this year. Funny thing is we would have all given about anything for that doorstop out here. 

Remember Tommy, Mom? He passed last week. We tried everything to save him but… anyway mom, he has a wife and a new baby he never even met. Could you send my package of Christmas treats to her instead? It would mean so much to me to know you did. He held her picture as he went. She’s a fine girl.  Could you look after her, you and pop? She hasn’t anyone to care.

Well, we are moving out now and I have to go… I love you all. Know I think of you every day and you are in my prayers. 

Merry Christmas!

Ever your loving son – Claude


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