Tuesday, October 4, 2016

WWII Short Story // If Anybody

I hope you enjoy this story--the first story shared on this blog! Yeah! And hopefully not the last. If you want, please tell me what you think in the comments!
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Wife of a departing soldier lifts her son for farewell embrace. Oklahoma, 1945:
Not my picture, I got it from Pinterest. Click for source.
If Anybody

December 25, 1944.

I remember that day when he left.
It was the spring of 1942, and the sun was rebelliously shining in the bright morning sky like nothing was being torn apart— like a war wasn't raging. I wonder how many times the sun has shone over a scene like that one—a scene of longing and fear, of love and selfish wishes.

As my husband, Jackson, my son, Lawrence, and I drove to the train station, Lawrence wouldn't stop asking why Daddy had to leave. He had been told many times before that Daddy had to go defend America, but he didn't understand. When we arrived, Jackson parked the car and grabbed his things, "Well, Martha, this is it."

I just looked at him, with tears of sadness forming in my eyes, "I wish...Oh, Jackson, I wish..." My tears sufficed for words as I rushed into his arms, and cried. He gently held me, stroking my brown hair in love.

"Okay, I'll be late." I pulled away, composing myself and wiping my tear stained face, "Right, I'm sorry. I know you can't stay, but I am going to miss you."

"I'll miss you too," Jackson said, his blue eyes shining.

As he boarded the train, I gave him one last kiss and hug, and Lawrence did also. I watched as Jackson disappeared into the train and then through the window as he found his seat on the passenger car. Jackson, smiling face, put half his body out the window, and said, "I love you, and I always will...no matter what happens, Martha Wright, remember that."

"I will," I said, trying not to choke up, for his sake.

"And I love you, too, buddy," He said to Lawrence.

"Momma, can I hug daddy again?"

"He's already on the train, Lawrence," I told him, then, looking at my husband, said, "Alright, I'll lift you up." I picked up Lawrence, and lifted him as high as my arms would carry him, halfway up to the train window. Jackson took over, and grabbed his son up till all I had was Lawrence's legs, and hugged him, saying something in his ear that I couldn't understand except for parts like "I love you", "Daddy has to", and "I'll come back".

But just as I had started to tear up again, the station master called out, saying the train was leaving. I took Lawrence back, and held him in my arms. "Daddy is leaving," Lawrence said. The train jerked to a start, and I reached for Jackson's hand, holding on to Lawrence with the other.

"Don't forget to write! And, stay safe. And remember to follow God, and don't forget us!" I called to him over the loud train noise. I walked quickly, and didn't let go of his hand until I absolutely had to for the speed of the train. "I love you! God be with you!"

"I love you," He called. And then, as he rode away in his green uniform, I held on to his memory.

"Wave at Daddy," I said to our son. We waved until he was out of eyesight, and then I put Lawrence down, and we walked back to the truck. On the way home, we said nothing, and I cried both in my heart and out.

"Don't worry, Momma, Daddy said he'll be back," Lawrence comforted, "He told me not to worry. He said that no matter what happens, God will take care of us."

"What else did he say, Lawrence," I said, ashamed that I had let myself cry so much in front of my son, who sat beside me in the middle seat.

"Daddy said that he was proud of me, and that he loved me. He said that he had to leave to help the army, but he will always remember me and you."

"He did?"

"Yup. So don't worry, Momma, God's got things under control," He reassured, bouncing in his seat with a confident expression upon his face.

"You're right, Lawrence, He does."

Yes, I remember that day. It was sad, but I had hope—hope that the war would end, and my Jackson would come home and be the husband I needed, and the father I needed him to be for Lawerence. The days following were tough, but we managed. As promised, Jackson and I wrote to each other. Lawrence even wrote to him. Sometimes it was difficult because I would not hear from him for weeks, or months. But then, I would rejoice when I received a letter saying that he was somewhere in Europe, and that he was safe.

One day, he sent me a letter containing words I will never forget: "Even if we lose our someday, we will always have our today. We will always have the good times, Martha."
And now, I understand that.

For a year later, I received a telegram that Jackson was reported missing in action, along with his last letter to me.
Then, just two weeks after that, instead of good news, I received a notice that my beloved husband had been killed. I was devastated, and I didn't know what to do.  But I knew I could find comfort in God's arms, so that's where I ran.

What I didn't know that bright day when my husband left for the army, was that I would only see him a few times more, before his life was ended on this earth. If someone told me that, I would have never let go. But we can't know these things, nor what will happen to us. So we have to place our lives in God's hands, not our own. And if tragedy happens, we have to trust Him that things will turn out fine in the end. And that is what I am still doing today. The war has not ended, and people are still being killed, and families torn apart, but I trust God will bring us through.

September 2, 1945
And He has—God has brought us through! The war has ended, and there is hope on the horizon. Though things will never be the same, all things will work out in the end. All for the glory of God.


Written on: September 17, 2016.
COPYRIGHTED BY AMY E. LANE. Please do not copy without permission from the author—me! If you would like to use it in any way, please contact me via the contact form at the bottom of this blog.

10 comments:

  1. Wow. *wipes eyes* This is just so beautiful, Amy. :) Better even that the revised version you submitted. I loved it so much! This line is so powerful: .Even if we lose our someday, we will always have our today. We will always have the good times..." Wow. :) Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks so much, Faith.
      And thank you for the challenge!

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  2. Wonderful story and very well written. Thanks for sharing. =)

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  3. Oh, wow! This is such a touching story, Amy. You have an amazing gift to write...I just loved reading it. I was hoping for a happy ending and was very sad when she got word that he was gone, but such was so true for so many. You did a wonderful job of honoring them. Thank you for sharing your talent here. I can't wait to see how God uses your writing abilities!!!!

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    1. Well I'm glad you enjoyed it, Cheryl. Yes, it is sad that not everyone got a happily ever after.

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  4. Oh my I love this!!!! I've seen that picture before and always wanted to write something about it. :)

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    1. Isn't it nice?
      Thanks, Rosayln! I actually wrote it as part of a challenge from another blog!

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  5. Amazing story and so touching. I was tearing up here at our kitchen table!

    Anyway, hi! I'm Ashleigh, the gal behind the blog, Prairie Gal Cookin'. I recently started a new post series and link-up: The Writer's Corner on the Block. I would love if you could drop by and link-up, as well as read some of the post and leave a comment with your thoughts! I'll be featuring story snippets in every post, so if you have any interest in submitting a story to be featured, you can also find more info in the post! :)

    http://www.prairiegalcookin.com/the-writers-corner-of-the-block-1st-link-up/

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    1. Cool, I'll have to check your blog out!
      BTW, this is not my normal blog, but only my writing/art blog. My other blog is: livinginfaithandfun.blogspot.com

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