I came across this poem that Sarah posted on her blog and decided to post it on mine also. This year I feel so thankful that I get to be with my ENTIRE family for the holidays...I realize so many others (many whom I met blogging) are spending this year away from spouses and loved ones because of deployment. I realize being a part of a military family now that's always a possiblity for me, so I'm going to live it up and enjoy every minute. I am also going to take time to think about all of our soldiers and their families out there keeping us safe...and I hope you will too.
Merry Christmas, My Friend
By James M. Schmidt, a Marine Lance Corporalstationed in Washington, D.C., in 1986
Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone, In a one bedroom house made of plaster & stone.
I had come down the chimney, with presents to give and to see just who in this home did live
As I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand. On the wall hung pictures of a far distant land.
With medals and badges, awards of all kind, a sobering thought soon came to my mind.
For this house was different, unlike any I'd seen.This was the home of a U.S. Marine.
I'd heard stories about them, I had to see more, so I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
And there he lay sleeping, silent, alone,Curled up on the floor in his one-bedroom home.
He seemed so gentle, his face so serene, Not how I pictured a U.S. Marine.
Was this the hero, of whom I’d just read? Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?
His head was clean-shaven, his weathered face tan. I soon understood, this was more than a man. For I realized the families that I saw that night, owed their lives to these men, who were willing to fight.
Soon around the Nation, the children would play, And grown-ups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.They all enjoyed freedom, each month and all year,because of Marines like this one lying here.
I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,on a cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home. Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye. I dropped to my knees and I started to cry.
He must have awoken, for I heard a rough voice, "Santa, don't cry, this life is my choice
I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more. My life is my God, my country, my Corps."
With that he rolled over, drifted off into sleep,I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.
I watched him for hours, so silent and still. I noticed he shivered from the cold night's chill. So I took off my jacket, the one made of red, and covered this Marine from his toes to his head.
Then I put on his T-shirt of scarlet and gold, with an eagle, globe and anchor emblazoned so bold. And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,and for one shining moment, I was Marine Corps deep inside.
I didn't want to leave him so quiet in the night, this guardian of honor so willing to fight. But half asleep he rolled over, and in a voice clean and pure, said
"Carry on, Santa, it's Christmas Day, all secure."
Well another week has passed and I feel the need to confess the things I certainly did NOT do...
I am NOT getting sick right now. It's the middle of the holiday season and I have far too many things to do still. I absolutely eat 3 square meals a day and get 8 hours of rest a night...I'm the picture of health, so it is NOT phlegm that is sitting in my chest right now...
I did NOT decide to keep my sister's christmas present for myself. That would be selfish and unnecessary. I was NOT planning on re-gifting a wedding present to her but then decide that the crockpot is way too cool and I want it for myself (hey I registered for it afterall)...
I am NOT planning on going out after work today to buy her the exact same crockpot...
I would NEVER continually harass my brother to find out if he's gotten me the 3rd and 4th books in the Twilight series for Christmas. I'm very patient and appreciate any gift I receive (just like the crockpot)...
I did NOT have 2 college-aged guys show up on my doorstep this week to ask to shovel my driveway on 2 separate days. I also did NOT have a detective show up a little while later to ask about these guys...and inform me that a house was broken into down the street. I then did NOT call everybody I knew to talk to because I didn't want to be alone in the house...scary!
I did NOT guilt Little S (my friend) and Mr. Blackhawk(my brother) to bring me dinner at work after he arrived into town yesterday. That would just be very selfish...and I did NOT justify my selfishness by having them bring Mrs. P Olive Garden too...yum!
I did NOT go to lunch this week with work friends and snuggle with all of their babies! I would never monopolize all the time with the babies...
Finally, I did NOT go Christmas shopping one day this week until after 11 pm, then come home to find out that Mr. Football had not eaten dinner and was still awake. I did NOT feel guilty about all of this and make him pizza rolls at midnight. I always have a home cooked meal on the table when he comes home...remember??
Well I feel better about all the silly things I did NOT do this week...Check out MckMama's page for more confessions!