Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Chapter One The American Citizen

Happy New Year

This year starts with a tale, one that may last the year, I'm not sure. But I think you will really enjoy it. AND if you do, please invite others to read this story as well.

Where Good Memories Are Kept

It started once upon a time. Dud began his story this way because at times you, reader, might find portions of this tale highly impossible. But in full disclosure, this 1970's story was proven true. Not in a history book or even in a diary. The words had been hidden in the secret place where good memories are kept to cherish.

Two months had passed since Jane and her husband said their wedding vows. They had the typical basic apartment furniture, a dining room table, recycled chairs, a hand-me-down sofa, and a bedroom set. The kitchen cupboard contained the usual minimal married-couple-in-college ingredients. On this crisp October day, they longed for a delicious big meal, no dessert required. 

This was not the first time they'd popped in at his parents' house for supper. His mother's European style made from scratch using only the best ingredients cooking guaranteed it wasn't the last. She sat in her living room winged back chair, as was her custom in the late afternoon. Jane greeted her and expected the usual chat updating family happenings and threads from European life long ago. "Jane." The woman fiddled with her necklace. “What would you think about a trip to Lithuania?”

Impossible came to mind. At the time, Lithuania, a small country on the Baltic Sea, belonged to the Soviet Union. Any US flight bound for the country had to first fly five hundred extra miles east to check-in at Moscow and receive permission before traveling back west to Lithuania. It would never happen.  

She hardly knew her mother-in-law after only two months. Did this woman tease? Would she expect to be taken seriously even when suggesting preposterous ideas? Jane gave a safe answer. “When?”

“The whole family might be able to go this Christmas. I was wondering if you wanted to join us? Naturally, you're invited.” Her mother-in-law seemed serious. 

Deep down, Jane knew this trip was impossible. "Yes. I would love to go." The enormous cost for twelve family members alone made the idea laughable. Besides the money, three of family members didn’t have U.S. citizenship and a fourth had US government clearance, making all four ineligible to enter Soviet Moscow.

At times unrealistic ideas turned into what-if dreams. Not this one. The insurmountable logistics squelched those dreams. 

Days passed. They visited his parents again, excited for yet again another delicious supper. Jane's mother-in-law greeted her from the living-room. “Come. Sit with me. I have news. It seems your father-in-law’s patients have firmly decided to send the family on the trip. They are grateful for what he has done and discovered he hasn’t seen his mother and brothers in forty years. They also want the entire family to go, meet his family, and see his childhood home. We’ll travel to Lithuania and spend the week of Christmas there then fly to Germany and visit my family for the week of New Year. What do you think?”

Surely she'd considered all the problems. Although these patients would divide the immense cost, three family members still had passport issues. To make matters worse, her husband was a citizen of no country. He was born to a German mother and Lithuanian father on an American military base in France. None of the countries had granted him naturalized citizenship. Paperwork for this process took months for easy cases, sometimes years to complete.

The idea was impossible.


One patient's spouse had an important connection. 

So driven to send Jane's new family on the trip of a lifetime, she made calls, set up appointments, called in favors, met with her contacts, monitoring the issue every day until two family members became citizens, leaving Jane's husband as the last.

On a warm and cloudy November day, Jane took the afternoon off work. She and her husband drove to the courthouse. They entered a judge’s private chambers and within minutes, her husband raised his right hand, repeated the oath, and became an American citizen.  

With one month left to departure, Jane finally told her boss about the unbelievable trip she and her new family would take.

The story continues...

You never know what 2020 might bring into your life. 
It may be a roller coaster or smooth sailing. 

If you're looking for some great reads whether drama, mystery, or fantasy visit my Amazon page where you will find the perfect read. Ebooks are on sale.

~Mary Vee
Photo by Mary Vee

Link to Mary's books:

Christmas is Mary Vee's favorite holiday. She loves to travel to places like New York City and Paris. Maryis an award-winning author and writes for her king.  

Visit Mary at her WebsiteBlog, and her ministry blog to families: God Loves Kids. Or chat on Facebook or Twitter

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