Monday, May 30, 2011

A Son Who Never Knew His Father- Remembering on this Memorial Day

I feel very blessed to have these things of my grandfathers.  His army hats, badges, a medal, his army bag and even the little book with prayers and the Star Spangled Banner, which all army men carried in their coat pocket.  I even have the little sewing kit he would have carried during WWII.
My grandfather and so many of my great uncles fought in the war.  My grandmother was pregnant with my mom when my grandfather left for France.  It would be two years before he would meet his baby girl, my mother.  In fact, my grandmother had received word that my grandfather had been killed.  She had also received word that her brother, Ed had been killed.  Her sister-in-law was pregnant at the time and their only son, Bo would never meet his dad.
My grandfather did survive the war and came home to everyone's elated surprise.  He lived to be 89 years old, and I often enjoyed hearing his 'war stories.'  I could listen to him for hours! 
My mother, an only child, passed away fourteen years ago.  Her parents were still living and suffered terribly at the loss of their only child.  Eventually, they would move to my town to be cared for and would live until they were almost ninety years old.
Upon their deaths, I found letters, lots and lots of letters.  Many of the letters were from my grandfather to my grandmother during the war.  There were also a substantial number of letters written from my great uncle Ed to his mother (my great-grandmother) and to his sister (my grandmother) about the little boy he hoped to return home to and teach to play ball.  The little boy was my uncle Bo.  I didn't know him very well, as he lived far away.  I packed the letters and took them to my grandmother's funeral, in the hopes that he would be there and I could pass them along.  They were so touching of a father, killed during battle, wanting to meet his son; this son who now stood before me in his sixties.  He cried as he read the letters from a father he never knew. 
War and the price for freedom...A gift to so many, yet a heartbreak to this grown man.  A life of never knowing his father.  These letters meant the world to him.

Happy Memorial Day and thank you to all who fight for our freedom and to all who have loved ones who have died in battle.

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8 comments :

Jenny @ Embellishing Life said...

This is a beautiful post, Christie. Thank you so much for sharing.
Today is definitely a day to be grateful for all who have served, and especially for all those who gave their lives for our freedom.
To have your grandfather's items and letters is such a precious treasure!

dustbunny8 said...

Thank you for sharing this.We must never,ever, forget them-The Greatest Generation.What we have,we owe to those before us.

Anonymous said...

What a touching story and yet so sad for him never knowing his dad..And equally sad for your grandparents to of lost their daughter,your mother..
I just found your blog and it has taken me two days to look over a lot of your posts..You are amazing and I have enjoyed reading your posts and seeing how very talented you are..
Janet

Jules said...

Thank you for sharing your memories. What a great heritage and treasure you have in those letters!

gina3 said...

What a touching powerful post. Thank you for sharing this chapter of your family's history. It truly captures the meaning of the day. I can't imagine what those letters meant to your uncle.

Petie said...

This was an awesome post. It made me cry, as did all the memorial posts from yesterday. God Bless America and your Grandfather and your Great Uncle Ed and for their service to this country.

Tardevil said...

Great post! I never knew but one of my grandparents, and he only lived until I was six. I always tell my kids they don't know how lucky they are to have their parents and grandparents. It is a void that can never be completely filled.

Sarah said...

Beautiful post! ~ Sarah

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