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The postcard shows a picture of a young mother and her daughter, captured in bronze. They are staring expectantly across the ocean. They keep watch over the quay in Odessa, capital of seamen in the Ukraine.

The bronze statue reminds one of tragedy, a tragedy where women, daughters and parents wait forlornly on the quay, always waiting for a ship that never arrived. They waited for fathers, children and spouses – fathers, children and spouses that never returned...

The postcard shows a picture of a young mother and her daughter, captured in bronze. They are staring expectantly across the ocean. They keep watch over the quay in Odessa, capital of seamen in the Ukraine. The bronze statue reminds one of tragedy, a tragedy where women, daughters and parents wait forlornly on the quay, always waiting for a ship that never arrived. They waited for fathers, children and spouses – fathers, children and spouses that never returned...

At an airport, a little girl is waiting. She is only two feet high, has black hair and her eyes are bright. She is holding a flower that she picked somewhere, probably found with all the love she felt in her heart. She chose it with love and wonder. As the electronic doors slide open without making a sound, she stands on her toes to try and see when he would appear. But in the moment of his arrival, she hesitates momentarily, for a mere second or so. After all, the last time she saw him was months ago. That is a lifetime when you are only three or four years old. But then, she knows that it is the man she misses every night when her mother reads her bedtime story. She knows he owns the crackling voice she hears on the telephone on special days.

She knows. She runs, forgetting the flower. As she embraces her dad, it is without judgement, without blame about his absence – she only holds on, never to let him go again. Then the tears start to flow. Dad and mom that tried to stop the tears – and the little princess with the black hair. Her dad is home. The tears only reflect the sweet feelings of abundance and joy.

The sea takes and the sea gives. This Christmas there will be an empty chair at many Christmas trees. That chair will remind the families of a father working at sea and that he is far away. For some families Christmas will be a time of sweet sounds, of abundance and joy. Perhaps that will be true for your family, or perhaps you know there will be an empty chair in your home too...But, rest assured... Christ was born – for every seaman, for you and for me. May it comfort you if you need comfort, or may it enhance the wonderful feelings of abundance and joy.

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