It Came in the Mail

by James Cressler/Word Weavers Orlando

If the sun shines through the apple tree on Christmas Day, there will be an abundant crop next year. There’s no sun today, only worry and doubt. Who believes that old weather proverb anyway?

New Year’s Day. Why doesn’t he write? I write him every week, and yet, nothing. His dad got a letter three weeks ago. I haven’t gotten one in four.

Today, Saddam Hussein declared he will kill ten thousand Americans. I can’t imagine what it’s like over there. But why doesn’t someone write and let us know he’s still alive.

It’s been an interesting week. The air campaign began and the next day I got a letter from him. He wrote it three weeks ago. There are bombs and missiles everywhere. Is he still alive?

February 24th. The ground war started today and I got three letters. The last one was only six days old. Somehow, I feel better about my chances of seeing my grandson again.

I can’t stop watching the network news. I haven’t left the house in two days. Oh please, let him come home in one piece—literally.

Victory in a hundred hours, praise God. Thank you Lord and Amen!

I watch the fireflies dance over my mailbox in the twilight hours. Springtime poppies, peas and tomatoes compete for garden soil. He writes that he’ll be home this summer and is coming to see me. My heart beats easy. I am ten years younger.

August 24th. He left today after a wonderful visit. I know he kept bottles of pills and bourbon but I can live with that. He’s back. The war’s over. It is time to breathe.

August 26th. The mailman hand delivered a letter today with a smirk on his face. I recognized the envelope. It was a combat zone letter with “Free” written in the top right corner. It read, “Grandma, it is New Year’s Eve, and we’re shipping out tomorrow for the old Iraqi neutral zone. The war is about to start.”


James Cressler is a US Army veteran with over twenty years of service, including Desert Storm, giving him firsthand writing ideas and materials to draw from.


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