This holiday was all about family and tradition, and she knew that he would truly be with them all in their hearts. Both of his parents would be here, celebrating with her family as they had for the last twenty years. His younger sister Clementine appeared to be having the hardest time of all of them letting go of her hero, but just the other day had excitedly talked to Darby about everything Christmas Bryce had loved.
They had been baking fresh cookies to take to some of the elderly shut-ins around town. They reminisced and laughed and occasionally cried, as they sprinkled colored sugar on the cut outs. It had been one of those priceless days she tucked away in her memory to warm herself down the road. She looked at the list before her, and felt giddy at all the lines that she had already crossed off. It was shaping up to be a peaceful family holiday, with all the tasks to make it come off without a hitch under her belt.
She put a foot up, and like she did many mornings since the snow had started to fall, looked out of the big bay windows admiring the radiant glory of all the pristine white. She loved a snow covered Christmas. It was the delightful remembrance of youth that brought magic to the season. She sipped the hot chocolate, and watched the flakes flutter and dance in the air.
Bryce would have loved the view. She remembered the Christmas just before his first deployment. They had both gone out into the yard, flopping down to make snow angels like they were ten year old children. He had hit her smack in the head with a snowball, which had started an epic war of which he claimed victory, though she still knew better. A small smile played around her lips.
“Merry Christmas sweetie,” her mom said, startling her out of her walk down memory lane.
“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” she asked, staring out the window.
Excerpt from A Soldier's Promise by Angelica Kate
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