Back from the war: the best Christmas ever
You no doubt have a favorite memory out of past Christmas seasons. Maybe yours, in fact, occurred this year. But Dora Lee, Valley City, N.D., writes that the best Christmas she ever had was 60 years ago. It was 1945. Dora was living in an apartme...
You no doubt have a favorite memory out of past Christmas seasons. Maybe yours, in fact, occurred this year.
But Dora Lee, Valley City, N.D., writes that the best Christmas she ever had was 60 years ago.
It was 1945. Dora was living in an apartment in Devils Lake, N.D., with two children, ages 4 and 2, while her husband, Melvin, was serving in the Army.
World War II had ended in September, but Melvin was still on active duty, serving in China.
Dora wrote faithfully to him. But then her last two letters were returned unopened.
She, of course, wondered when he'd get home. There was a nagging fear, stemming from those returned letters, that maybe something bad had happened.
Days dragged on. No word from him.
Then, early in December, a wonderful letter arrived. Yes, it was from Melvin. Yes, he said, he was coming home. But he didn't say when.
Dora waited and waited for further word. But none came.
Christmas Day arrived.
Dora invited Melvin's brother, who also had been in the service, to join her and the kids for Christmas dinner.
Then, just before they were going to sit down at the table, the door opened - and Melvin walked in.
It had been almost two years since Dora had seen him, which explains the biggest breath-taking hug he'd ever received.
Melvin died in 1992, shortly after he and Dora celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary.
After he returned from the war, they had another child. So Dora today has those three children, plus seven grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. In January, she will become a great-great-grandmother.
Out of all of this have come many fine Christmas memories.
But none of them equal the memory of that Christmas Day, 60 years ago, when Melvin came home from the war.
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