I love Christmas carols. I love to sing them and I love to listen to them. This year, one song brought back memories of a Christmas that almost wasn’t very merry for us.
I’ll Be Home for Christmas
This song was not a favorite of mine back in my younger days, but one year it held so much meaning for me. It was like a light flicked on.
the year was 2004 and it was my husband’s first year as an over the road truck driver. Truck driving had always been his passion, so when he learned about a fantastic job opportunity to join a transportation fleet, he was first in line to fill out the driver application form. Truck drivers are not always easy to recruit and nowadays haulage companies tend to use software to ease the hiring process. After a number of different interviews and tests though, the job was his! I was home alone with a one-year-old, three-year-old, a boisterous dog and a sassy kitty. I juggled work, toddlers, and all the household responsibilities plus making sure bills were paid. I received a phone call from him on December 23
I received a phone call from him on December 23rd telling me he would be stuck in a bus depot in Chicago for Christmas. I was devastated. I needed my backup, my relief partner. I needed my husband home. We had been together since 1995 and had never spent a Christmas apart. I had no clue what to do or how to get him home. There was no way my husband was going to spend Christmas in a bus station. In my heartbroken state, I saw no way to get him home because the buses would be stopping on the 24th and not leave again until the 26th.
I immediately called my mom, crying as she was my other brain. (She thinks of things when I can’t) She asked where exactly he would be in Chicago. I couldn’t tell her because I hadn’t thought to ask. When I told her I hadn’t asked, she laughed a bit and told me to find out. I can’t have my hubby home if I didn’t know how to find him.
Back and forth went the phone calls and first thing in the morning on the 24th, my parents and I headed out to bring my hubby home. It was an eight-hour drive round trip and I was glad to have company. We had the typical winter weather that day of blowing snow and sleet and that stretch of highway can be dangerous. (Remeber the 80+ car pile up a couple years ago here in Michigan? Yup, it was that highway.) We found him without an issue and had an exhausting Christmas day as we traveled to different family members houses to visit. Come the evening of the 26
At 4 in the afternoon, in the middle of Chicago with crazy traffic blasting by use, we found him. We had an exhausting Christmas day as we traveled to different family members houses to visit. Three house I believe. Come the evening of the 26th, I had to have him back at the bus depot so he could meet his fellow truck driver in Tennessee.
We have had a couple of years since that we were worried he would not make it home, this one included, but God always pulls through.
In my latest book What God Brings Together: A Christmas Wedding, I use this song as kind of a theme song. After years being away from his family, Ryan will get to spend Christmas at home. What better way to spend the holidays than with your family.
We all have memories of this time of year. What one comes to mind the most for you?