Christmas with the Family
How I remember a number of years ago
When for Christmas I was so determined to go home.
Of my siblings, I lived the furthest away
And had the longest trip to come home for Christmas Day.
As time drew near for me to make the long drive
I kept an eye on the pending weather outside.
With relief I saw the ground and roads looked clear
With no hint of a snowstorm to fear.
Then the phone rang; it was my loving but worried mom
Telling me it was snowing there and to not venture out; to not come.
“But the weather looks fine here and I’m already packed to go.
I will be alright,” I told her, “for here there isn’t any storm or snow.”
Then my brother jumped on the phone
And spoke in a sterner tone,
“Don’t come,” he warned, “for it is snowing like blazes here.”
“Well, I’m still coming,” I retorted, “for it is not snowing here.”
I was so determined to go home
And not spend this Christmas all alone.
I jumped in my car and sped on my way;
I was determined to be with family on Christmas Day.
I traveled the first half of my journey
With no troubles and no worries.
The roads were fine and clear
I felt I had nothing to fear.
But soon, just as I was warned,
I had finally caught up to the storm.
Roads became slick as snow dotted the ground.
Becoming concerned, I carefully slowed down.
With each city and town I traveled to,
The journey was more treacherous as I drove through.
I crossed the state line from Minnesota into Wisconsin;
Now my trek was two-thirds done.
Cautiously I had crossed the Mississippi River
While praying for God to guide me in this wintry weather.
Much to my dismay, the road conditions were worsening
As I slowed even more at each turn and each road crossing.
Finally, I was in the last leg with just one more town to go
And then soon I would be with family and safe at home.
But oh my, oh my, what a blinding surprise
Met my weary and strained eyes.
Now the road was so covered in thick snow
That I no longer could see where to go.
I sighed and teared and desperately prayed
For God to keep guiding me and showing the way.
Boldly, yet cautiously I followed by memory
Keeping track of the familiar landmarks that I could see.
I’d recognize a house, a barn, or a line of trees
And recall where the road used to be.
No one else was traveling on the road
I was on this journey feeling all alone.
Carefully, cautiously I continued on
Not letting my eyes become distracted for long.
I needed to keep my focus on the unseen road
Or else I would be lost and stuck in the mounting snow.
Somehow, God was there steadily leading me
And calming me with his quiet company.
I reached the last town, quiet and still
No one was around as a chilly silence there prevailed.
Sort of a creepy feeling with no one in sight
But I knew everyone was staying warm inside.
Finally, I reached the last road leading to the old farm
And soon pulled into the driveway facing the old red barn.
Most of the family was gathered on the porch
Greeting each other and elated beyond words.
For through the storm we all had come
And now were together and safe at home.
My sister-in-law was first to warmly greet,
“how are you?” as she held the door for me.
“Hooray, she’s here,” my young niece jumped,
“Now we can play ‘Leopard Hunt’.”
We enjoyed a savory celebration feast
And then gathered around the Christmas tree.
The gifts and the tearing wrapping paper are a blur to me
But what I recall the most is the love of family.
Later, my mother sat in her chair all alone
And not forgetting all that God has done.
She knew the story of Jesus’ miraculous birth
To show God’s love to us all on earth.
But now, she replied quietly to me,
“God was here; don’t you think, don’t you see?
He indeed gave us another miracle today
When he brought you home safe for Christmas Day.”