Home for Christmas



After a few days of poetry it’s time for a Christmas story.
I wrote this a few years ago and it always seems to choke me up. I hope it blesses you. Peace, Jay

She peered from her dingy apartment window, wiping the frost with the sleeve of her sweater so she could see more clearly. A light snow was falling making the city streets outside her old brownstone a clean carpet of white. Sally was eagerly awaiting a delivery from the local grocery store containing the simple items for her dinner tonight. It was Christmas Eve and Sally wanted to celebrate this special time, at least in a small way. Over 80 and in failing health, it was to be a bittersweet celebration for sure. A little over a year ago Samuel, her husband and best friend, grew gravely ill. To her great sorrow, he faded quickly and went home to be with the Lord on the eve of his favorite day.

Sally loved her “Sammy”, so it was hard imagining celebrating tonight alone. He was so alive around Christmas and always seemed his happiest around the holidays. Every Christmas Eve he would sing, laugh…sometimes scooping her up from her chair for a dance. He would put on a Santa hat and say, “Come on sweetie, I saved a dance for my best gal!” Afterwards they would cuddle-up on the couch, sip tea, and read the story of the Savior’s birth. When midnight came they would run to their small tree, and like giggling children, rip open all the gifts.

The crunch of snow and the sight of a tall figure coming down the sidewalk carrying bundles snapped her back to her vigil. Sally watched the trudging shape come up the stairs and ring the bell to her apartment. Drawing her sweater around her neck to guard against the cold, she opened the door and let the familiar face inside. It was Manny, a young man in his twenties or so, who had been delivering her groceries for a few months now.

“Merry Christmas Mrs. Hamilton!” Manny said with a booming voice.

“Merry Christmas Manny, come in, come in.” Sally said excitedly.

“Shall I carry these to the kitchen?” Manny asked.

“Oh, please do, please do, I’m so wound up, I need to start cooking right away!” Sally replied.

Manny carried the bags into the narrow kitchen, where Sally began to unpack her goodies. A small ham, some potatoes, a can of green beans and a small box of Earl Grey tea.

With a hint of tears in her eyes, Sally mused, “My Sammy sure did love his
spot of tea.”

Dabbing at her eyes with her apron Sally soon looked up and hesitantly asked, “Manny, would you like to have dinner with me?”

“I would love to Mrs. H, absolutely love to!” Manny replied cheerfully.

The two of them set about fixing the meal, laughing, singing, and even enjoying a silly dance to Jingle Bell Rock playing on the radio. Soon the kitchen was warm, filled with a wonderful aroma and alive with memories. During dinner Sally told story after story of her husband Sammy and the love he had for Jesus.

Sally became quiet and Manny could see the pain of loneliness in her eyes. They were sipping their tea when Sally asked, “I’m so tired Manny, will you help me to the couch?” Manny helped the weary Mrs. Hamilton to the couch, laying her head gently on a quilted pillow. Covering Sally with a blanket, Manny then pulled a small box from his jacket and said, “It’s almost midnight Mrs. H, this is for you …Merry Christmas.”

The package wrapped with golden paper and with a bow of the purest white surprised Sally; she had never seen a more beautiful package. Taking the gift from Manny, Sally was momentary speechless. She started to open the present, excited as a small child, pausing only when she saw the prize within. Inside was a golden key with a small note that looked like an invitation. On the inside it read.

To: Sally Hamilton. A key to your new home.

“Manny…what does this mean?” Sally asked.

“Mrs. H.” Manny said. “You have been such a servant all your life, giving so unselfishly, that my employer wanted to give you something special this Christmas.”

“I’m afraid I don’t understand, your boss Mr. Reynolds is giving me a house?
Sally asked.

Manny, smiling now said, “No Mrs. H, I work for someone a bit higher than
Mr. Reynolds. Anyway, I’m just a messenger and I’ll be announcing your arrival there soon.”

“Manny, I still don’t see…” Sally wondered out loud.

“It’s simple, you have been faithful Mrs. H, and the Lord wants you home with Him.” Manny said.

Her eyes widening a bit, Sally whispered, “You mean…I’m really going… oh, I can hardly keep my eyes open, what is happening to me Manny?” Sally asked.

Manny replied softly, “It’s time for a homecoming Mrs. H…Sammy is saving a dance for you”

They were quiet for a few minutes when Sally spoke in a hushed voice and asked, “Am I going to see my Sammy when I open my eyes Manny?’

She was already home when he answered, “Yes Sally, and so much more.”

The End

Jay Cookingham © 2002

Psalm 116:15: "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."

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caryjo said…
What a blessing to read. OH, MY!! Thanks.
HisFireFly said…
Now you've got me all choked up too and my husband as well!

Beautifully written Jay and straight to the heart.
bill (cycleguy) said…
Thanks for the choke up jay. Glad no one else is around at this early hour.
Jay Cookingham said…
Good AM to you Bill...sure do appreciate you dropping by!
Jay Cookingham said…
Thanks Karin...it gets me every time and I wrote it....whats up with that?
Jay Cookingham said…
I'm glad it bless you my sister....Thanks!
AtomicPopcorn said…
Why ya got to make me cry already this morning brother!
Jay Cookingham said…
Well, even us guys need to cry once in awhile...right? Thanks Bro'
Dusty Rayburn said…
I can't comment...I have something in my eye <>... yeah that's it. My eyes are watering and I can't seem to get it out.

katdish said…
Beautiful. Thank you.
Glynn Young said…
Great post, Jay. I know it's from 2002, but you should do more. You have a gift.
Jay Cookingham said…
Glynn, that was very kind...I am humbled, thank you!
Jay Cookingham said…
Thanks Kat, I do appreciate that!
Jay Cookingham said…
Thanks Bro'...I do appreciate it!
jasonS said…
Yeah, great story, Jay.Glad you pulled it out of the archives. :) Blessings!
Jay Cookingham said…
I'm glad I had it in the archives...trying to finish my book, so this helps. Thanks Bro'
S Etole said…
A new home in a high rise ... we patiently wait with longing.
SandraHeskaKing said…
Hanging on every word. Where's my tissue?
Jay Cookingham said…
Thanks Sandra...sending a virtual tissue to ya!

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