December 24, 1755 - Ohio Wilderness
Snow falls all around my tiny cabin nestled deep within the French fort. I lay bound to my bed, large with child. My only companions are the wife of the French captain and her children. Today is Christmas Eve. I watch the snow fall outside through my window. I wonder if we were in France, where might I be? I can only imagine the grand Christmas ball thrown at Versailles. The music floating in the air as beautiful couples twirl in rhythm. The joyfulness of the season emulating throughout the palace, the midnight mass in the cathedral, family dinner with the House of Orleans, and presents. Oh, how life at the French court is drastically different from what I have here.
I lean back and close my eyes. Just as the birth of Jesus brought hope to the world, this Christmas I have been given hope by my French husband. What a wonderful, most blessed gift! I found love where no love should be. I was a British lady. What British lady falls in love with French nobility when there is a war going on? Oh and the love we share is magical! I giggle like a child everything I think of it. I am so happy! Never in my life have I ever been so elated. All my life, I hadn’t been a person to my father but a tool he could use to further his own objectives. He beat, molested and raped me all my life. He forced my brother and I to have incest. But that wasn’t the worse of it all. Last winter, my father held a rifle to my brothers head and forced him to beat me to death. My poor brother. He didn’t want to do it. But I pleaded to him to kill me. For I knew if he wouldn’t father would kill us both. Alexander had complied. Thank heavens he stopped beating and stabbing me when he did. I was so close to death. Afterwards Alexander gave my torn body to François then disappeared. Oh, what a gift François is to me. He healed me back to health, gave me a child and a new life!
This Christmas I am grateful for the many blessings God had bestowed upon me. I have a wonderful husband who adores me. I am large with child. Alexander and I have reunited. Our parents are dead and France protects me.
I hear the front door close and my husband’s voice in his office. François has returned! I rise from my bed and grab my robe. I have grown too large to wear any clothes other than my chemise. Alexander believes I carry more than one child. No meal can satisfy my ravishing appetite. I place my robe around my large body, tied it in the front and open the door to my husband’s office. Oh, what a sight he is to my eyes. He stirs my soul with just one glance. I stand at our door watching my husband converse with his younger brother. The war had taken a break for Christmas Eve yet even now my husband and his brother plan their next attack. How strange it seems that the world can find peace on Christmas yet the very next day act as if nothing had transpired. I do not understand it. Have we learned nothing from Jesus’ birth? The hope of the world.
Anna Marie Turner is the mother of Calico and Rose from the book "Calico" by Allison Bruning.