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I’ll Be Home For Christmas, But I was Only Dreaming

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“Christmas eve will find me, where the lovelight gleams. I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.”
-“I’ll Be Home For Christmas”
by Buck Ram, Kim Gannon, and Walter Kent

It’s near five o’clock on Christmas Eve. To the left of me is a bottle of Jameson Irish Whisky; to the right of me is my trusty Nikon D2h. My feet dangle from the back of a pontoon boat into the warm waters of Guantanamo Bay, and my eyes are filled with glory as the sun slowly descends on the day, the last remnants of 2010 gently fading away with the sun.

Somewhere in San Diego a little boy is about to go to sleep dreaming of the treasures awaiting him under the tree the next day. There’s a road trip as part of the surprise, a visit to
the family gathering down the road in an easterly direction.

Somewhere in Arizona my clan is descending upon the ready home of the one and only sister of the clan. Moms, Dads, Grandma, Grandpa, and all the nephews and nieces one can possibly handle. They’re basking in the warmth of family love and the anticipation of children’s joy. Some of the clan is missing. Choosing to stay back one of the sons is trying to forge a new life for his young family, to provide a good home and want of nothing.

Somewhere in small town Wyoming, three women are coming together. Away from their friends and families new traditions are starting, friendships being strengthened. Across the state, moms and dads are praying for their soldiers deployed. Husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, and little ones are hoping that today will be they day their one so far from home can make a call, to hear the voice of one that is loved and missed.

Somewhere in Ohio a mother sheds a gentle tear. The pain and the joy mix together in a powerful wave as she wraps presents meant for a little boy. A little boy who no longer has a father, a women who no longer has her husband. The ravages of addiction exact a demanding toll, claiming another soul.

Somewhere in Iraq a weathered and battle hardened sergeant is coming to the end of his fourth deployment to the sand box. He’ll miss yet another Christmas but is comforted knowing in just a few short weeks he’ll be back in the arms of his love. He clicks on the computer and the little girl born during his second deployment comes to life on the screen, modern technology putting these two together for a few moments.

“I love you daddy,” the fragile voice says.

“I know sweetie; I love you too; I’ll be home soon,” he replies as he stares at the Christmas tree behind his daughter, the pile of packages placed with care. A tear streams down his cheek as he says goodbye and gets ready to head outside the wire again. A prayer fleets across his thoughts. “Lord, let me get home … let all of us get home.”

Somewhere in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley a young Marine is laying in his bed trying to make the bad dreams stop. Boot camp at Parris Island was, until this day, the furthest he’d ever been from his small town in the Carolinas. A week in and he’s already been shot at, made a dash for the bunkers as the mortars fell from the sky, and experienced the loss of a best friend taken in an IED attack.

And somewhere, on a boat, in Guantanamo Bay I sit. The last visage of the sun slowly slips below the horizon. I think about all of those people who are somewhere. Somewhere not here and I wish I was there with everyone of them to tell them all how much I love and miss them. How much each and everyone of them as touched my life in some way, molded me into the person I am today – for better or worse, somewhere.

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About Mr. B

  • Very poignant article. Reminds me of what my father told me about Christmas 1944 in France. He sat there with a bottle and heard the bombs going off somewhere. He heard Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas” on a radio, and I guess some things never change only the people and place do.