Love stories from the heart...
Come Back To Me
His Stetson still sat on the table next to his keys by the back door and his boots, brushed clean and polished, stood next to hers. Some things never change.
Patty misses her husband dearly and dreams of him coming home for Christmas. When she shares her dream with her children, they become increasingly worried as their mother’s present day life and her cherished memories begin to blur.
Her children gather to decide how to help her handle her disappointment and comfort her when he doesn't show up—after all, it was only a dream.
Convinced she was losing her grip on reality and shouldn't live alone any longer, they decide to wait until after the holidays before making any major changes in her life.
But Christmas Day brings a shocking surprise—to everyone but Patty. This is a funny, heartwarming, and touching story that will have you believing in miracles.
Before heading back to the house, Patty stopped at the tree next to the fence and leaned against it. Her frail fingers traced the lines in the bark and she remembered the beautiful spring day Michael came home from work early.
He rushed into the kitchen and grabbed her hand. Hurrying her out of the house and down the path to the tree, he lifted her, sat her in the crook of it. He smiled up at her. His boots kicked the dirt under his feet, his hands sunk into his pockets, and he clearly was struggling to find the right words to say to her.
“I don’t tell you near enough how much I love you.”
“I love you, too,” she answered, wondering where this conversation was going.
“No, I mean I love you more than I ever believed I could love anyone. I love our family and this farm. Of all the places I’ve been in my life, I finally feel like I’m home. Darlin’, I just want you to know I’ve never been happy with my life until now…until you. Come here.”
He reached up and lifted her down into his arms. The kiss...it came from his soul and she knew it. It was like no other and one she would never forget. There were no words to describe it; it spoke without words—from his heart and his soul—and anyone who had ever been kissed that way would know exactly what she was talking about.
The tree had grown and the bark was rough, sort of like Michael. Not in a bad way. He was always gentle with her and the children, but he was not a man to be messed with. He wasn’t tall, but his muscular body was evident even through his clothes. His smile and his laugh would light up a room. He and he alone lit up Patty’s heart. He was truly the love of her life.
Patty was coming in from the barn and the phone was ringing. It was Carrie, their youngest daughter, calling as she usually did every day to check up on her mother.
“Hi Mom. I’ve been ringing the phone off the hook. Where were you?”
“Hi honey. I was down at the barn. How are you and how are the children?”
“You mean the garage?”
“Yes, that too. Carrie, I had to go through the garage to bring the turkey in from the freezer.”
“Mom, you know we don’t like you going out to the garage by yourself.”
“Yes, I know. I wasn’t alone; I took Shar with me. How are the children?”
“We’re all fine; Mom where is the turkey now?”
“In the old fridge in the basement, why?”
“Just curious.” Carrie sighed as she slumped down into her chair.
“I’m almost ready for Christmas. I’ve got a few more gifts to wrap and lots of cookies to bake.”
“Mom, you don’t have to bake. Remember, we are all bringing something. You don’t need to worry about a thing.”
“Thanks honey, for putting this all together. I know it hasn’t been easy. We can set up the tables and chairs down in the rec room. That’s where your father and I had our wedding reception. Lots of room down there. Oh, and before I forget, make sure to bring your father a bottle of Jim Beam.”
“Should I bring a big bottle?” she asked as her mouth fell open. She wasn’t sure what to say but thought she’d pursue the topic a bit further. This was the first year her mother brought up bringing a bottle of Beam, like her father was going to be there. While her mom had said they’d eat in the rec room, maybe she really meant the dining room.
“Well yes, I think you should. He hasn’t seen you in years and there are so many of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren he hasn’t met. There will be toasts all around, don’t you think?”
“Yes, that’s a wonderful idea. I have to run but I’ll talk to you again tomorrow. Bye, Mom.”
Carrie didn’t wait for her mother to say Good-bye before she pressed disconnect on her cell phone. She immediately dialed her brother, Jesse.
“Jesse, we’ve got a problem. I think we need to get everyone together and meet at my house tonight.”
“Now, hold on and calm down,” Jesse said. “What’s wrong?”
“I just got off the phone with Mom. We were talking about Christmas and she said Dad was going to be there.”
“Dad’s been gone for years. You must have misunderstood her,” he answered, hoping that was the case.
“No, I didn’t misunderstand her. She told me to be sure to bring a big bottle of Beam for him. She thought she was cooking Christmas dinner and I had to remind her again of what everyone was bringing.”
“Well, Carrie, it is a lot to remem...”
“Jess, I’m really worried about her.” Carrie’s voice cracked as she wiped a tear from her face.
“Now, settle down and don’t panic. I’m sure there’s a simple explanation. We’ll talk about it tonight. What time should we come over?”
“I’ll call everyone and see if we can get together about six. I’ll order pizza.”
“Good idea. In the meantime, don’t worry. I’ll see you tonight,” Jesse said as he disconnected the call.
Around six o’clock that night, everyone showed up at Carrie’s. They sat around the dining room table as Carrie began to relate the conversation she had with their mother earlier in the day.
“Now, let’s be calm about this,” Kiera told a nearly hysterical Carrie.
“How can I be calm about Mom telling me to bring a bottle of Jim Beam because dad is coming to Christmas dinner? I rang her phone for over an hour and when she finally answered, I asked where she was. She told me she’d been down to the barn.”
“Maybe she meant the garage,” Maren interjected.
“I asked her that and she said she had to go into the garage to get the turkey out of the freezer. When I reminded her we didn’t want her going into the garage alone, she said she wasn’t alone, she took Shar with her.”
“Okay, so she said barn when she meant garage, and then she called her dog Shar. People get a little confused as they age.
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