Soon there was a growing pile of pictures of newer Christmases, but fewer and fewer from home. These were images from distant lands, small trees propped up with small ornaments in his drab quarters in Korea, Vietnam, Panama. My grandmother was in more of them, pale and smiling next to his tanned features. A handmade book from the end of their first year of marriage, full of notes and doodles drawn for her benefit, told how much time they’d spent apart and how much he loved her. A blurred picture of the two of them entwined and smiling in their old trunks on some unnamed Caribbean beach showed more heartfelt affection than I ever recalled seeing them demonstrate in public. In another, she posed against one generous gift, a gray Studebaker parked on the dusty road of a military base, her arms outspread with pride.
I hope you’ll take the time to read it.