Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.
Polly leaned against the window of the speeding train, watching the countryside flash by and letting her mind race ahead to her desination.
She really didn’t know how she was sitting so still when every ounce of her being wanted to jump up and dance up down the aisle! She could hardly believe the time was finally here, and that within just a few more hours she’d be wrapped in her dad’s arms, her mom waiting a turn, and her brothers all standing there with goofy grins while her mom fussed and cried.
And Ethan, of course. Oh, how she yearned to feel his arms around her again. Home from the war, home safe and sound with only a minor wound. Home, and the war was over. Dreadful long months of waiting for news, hoping for a letter every single day; the crushing disappointment of no letter, no news, until finally word had come that he was wounded in the Philippines. Wounded, but safe. Healing. Being sent home.
Polly thought about the women in her family and her circle of friends who had lost sons, brothers, husbands, sweethearts. Almost daily, during and after a big battle, those horrid yellow telegrams would show up in the neighborhood. And if a military vehicle came to your house, you didn’t have to open the door to know that someone you loved would not be coming home at all.
The names of the battles rolled through her mind: Guadalcanal, Okinawa, Leyte, Midway Gulf and so many more. The horrendous loss of life was more than she could take in. Ethan had spent his war in the South Pacific, and while all Europe was ablaze and everyone was watching both theatres, Polly’s focus had been the war with Japan.
Well, it was over. The soldiers and sailors were coming home by the boatload, and the mood of the country was pure elation. Not for those who had lost loved ones, though, and Polly was so thankful that no one in her immediate family had died. One uncle and a cousin had been sacrificed to the insatiable appetite of war, though, and everyone in the family felt the pain.
And now, in just a few days, she would stand with Ethan in front of the pastor of their church. They would promise to love and cherish each other until death parted them. Suddenly, big fat tears welled up in Polly’s eyes as sentiment overwhelmed her. As the tears washed her cheeks, she bowed her head in gratitude for her brothers’ safe returns from different theatres of war, and especially for Ethan’s recovery and safe return.
Polly had read every news article about the war while Ethan had been away, and she knew and understood that they had lived through a period of time that would go down in the history books forever. She was thankful for the outcome. But if she’d had her choice, she would have skipped the fear, the dreadful waiting, the not knowing.
She raised her head, recognized the train had crossed yet another state line. One more to go. She settle back to enjoy the rest of her sentimental journey.