Whenever I see snow, I remember the miracle.
I remember the white flakes falling like tiny angels outside the window. I remember the flickering lamps, the wonder on my mama’s face and my grandmother’s whispered prayers of thanks. Yes, I remember the miracle.
I know that we all have small miracles every day, because the hand of Gott guides each of us, and he is always doing wonderful things if only our eyes are open to see them. But this was a big miracle and, though I am old now and my failing memory hides many things from me, this miracle has never left me, shining through all the days of my life, like the Hanukkah Menorah that burned in our window in the winter of 1945, tended by a little girl who was hoping and praying that her papa would come home for Christmas.
In those days, I lived in Colorado with my mama, Emily, my grandmother, Magda, and my papa, Gerd. We all came to America from Germany in 1940, to the beautiful San Luis Valley. My papa bought a ranch and raised Mustang horses. After we were there for a year Papa, Mama, and my grandmother became citizens. Then the war came to America. Because my Papa was German, he knew he could help the American cause, so he enlisted. Mama said it was hard for him because he was raised in the Amish faith, and he always believed that it was wrong for men to hurt each other. But he also believed that he needed to help defend America from the evil that was Hitler—an evil he had seen firsthand. He became an officer and left us to go with the army. The day he went away, oh, he was so handsome in his uniform, and my mama cried.
Now the war in Europe was over, but my Papa was not home and we had not heard from him for several months. My mama was so anxious and I remember hearing her cry at night when she thought I could not hear her.
Back in 1936, there were bad times in Germany. My Papa was an Amish man who owned a farm in the tiny village of Ixheim, right on the border with France. He lived there with my grandmother. That was before I was born. My mother was a Jewish girl that was being hunted by the Nazis. She was trying to escape to France, but she only made it as far as my Papa’s barn. When my Papa found her hiding there, he fell in love with her. He married her but the Nazis found them and sent them to the Dachau concentration camp. On the way there they met a Jewish man who helped them escape. He also helped them to discover their Messiah, Yeshua Hamaschiach, Jesus Christ, but though that’s another story, that is why we always had Christmas and Hanukkah at the same time in our house in Colorado. And that is where the miracle began.
When my papa and mama left Germany in 1936, my papa also left the Amish Church. The Nazis had convinced the Amish to turn in Jews and Communists to the Gestapo, and there were other things the church did my papa could not agree with. Papa sold his farm to his friend, and my parents and my grandmother escaped over the border to France. I was born there, in the village of Épernay, outside of Paris in 1937. Papa found work in the vineyards and mama taught in a school for Jewish refugee children. My Mütti, that’s what I called my grandmother, stayed at home and took care of me. Though I don’t remember it, Mütti said we lived in a little cottage in the middle of a large vineyard where they grew grapes to make French Champagne. It was very long ago, but sometimes I see a picture in my mind of a rock wall with purple and yellow flowers spilling over it and my Mütti sitting in the sun in an old chair.
Then things got bad in France and the French Army moved to the border to keep the Germans from getting in. My papa was very smart, and he knew that all the Jewish people in France were in danger if the Germans came, so with the money he got from selling his farm, he bought tickets to America. And so, when I was three years old, we came to Colorado and bought our ranch. Then my papa went away to the war. And that’s where this story of the miracle begins.
~ ~ ~ ~
A Light In The Window
~ ~ ~ ~
My Story Title: A Light In The Window
My Story Genre: Amish Romance
My Story Releases: November 2020
~ ~ ~ ~
Amazon Best-Selling author Patrick E. Craig, is a lifelong writer and musician who left a successful music career to become a pastor in 1986. In 2007 he retired to concentrate on writing and publishing fiction books. In 2011, Patrick signed a three-book deal with Harvest House Publishers to publish his Apple Creek Dreams series. His self-published books, The Amish Heiress, The Amish Princess, and The Mennonite Queen, as well as the reprinted Apple Creek Dreams are now published by Patrick’s imprint, P&J Publishing. In 2017, Harlequin Publishing purchased The Amish Heiress for their Walmart Amish series and released it in April 2019.
Patrick and co-author Murray Pura released Far On The Ringing Plains, Book 1 in a nine book series that will take in the whole sweep of men and women at war from WW II to the current Desert Campaigns. The have also collaborated on an anthology of realistic Amish stories written with the four other men who write Amish fiction: Willard Carpenter, Jerry Eicher, Thomas Nye and Amos Wyse. The Amish Menorah and Other Storieswas published by Elk Lake Publishing in May of 2020. The six authors are currently collaborating on A Christmas Collection which was released in November. Patrick has also recently released two books in his YA mystery series, The Adventures of Punkin and Boo, with Elk Lake Publishing. They are The Mystery of Ghost Dancer Ranch and The Lost Coast. He has a new book, a creative non-fiction memoir that is a coming of age in the high mountains set of stories titled Say Goodbye To The River. Patrick and his wife Judy live in Idaho. They have two daughters and five grandchildren.
~ ~ ~ ~
- Webpage: www.patrickecraig.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/patricke.craig/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/PatrickECraig
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PatrickECraig