Sergei Kourdakov, a former KGB agent and Soviet naval intelligence officer, defected from the USSR at the age of twenty. A year later we met at my Federal Government office in Washington DC. We were watched and followed. “Even you could be spy,” Sergei whispered. My book, A Rose for Sergei, is the true story of our time together.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Do You Hear Them?

The text message that popped up on my cell phone surprised me.  It was from my middle brother.  We often don’t touch base for several months…time, distance, and different interests all factor into that.  In part, his message said, “For some reason I was having trouble getting in the holiday spirit…so on comes The Polar Express...”

Heartfelt words from my brother.  I reflected on his message before texting back, “The Polar Express will definitely put you in the holiday spirit!  Sing some Christmas carols, too.”  (He has a great singing voice.)

Over the next few days he texted me short phrases from Charles Dickens’ book, A Christmas Carol.  Conversations from Jacob Marley and Ebenezer Scrooge filled my message box.

Marley:  “I wear the chain I forged in life.”

Scrooge:  “Speak a word of comfort to me.”

Marley:  “I have none to give, I can’t rest, I can’t stay, can’t linger ever!”

A Christmas Carol is one of our favorite stories and I enjoyed this holiday exchange between us.  I also understood his touch of melancholy.  We’re adults now…the special excitement of past Christmases when we were young children is gone.

His next text flooded me with happy memories—when he was a little boy who still believed in Santa Claus he heard the sleigh bells that night when no one else did.

“Ya’ know, Sis…I can still hear the bells on Santa’s Sleigh!”