The Telegram, Part Two

Part two promises to be lighter fare than part one. Here:

Letters Home came to be thanks, in part, to interest from facebook friends when my mother and I were reading letters, one day, and I posted a few snippets and found so many people interested. One of the reasons I was glad to give out copies to those interested readers. One of these friends told me a pretty interesting story, which I’ll retell here.

He read his copy and was waiting for his wife to read it before passing it off to another interested friend. He asked her if she planned to read it, and she told him to go ahead and lend it out, which he did. Then he asked why didn’t she think she’d read it. She thought it would be too sad. He understood. It is a book about a man enduring the horror of war and, in parts, he’s quite open about his emotional turmoil, but there is a payoff in his elation when the war ends. But she’d skimmed it and saw that his baby dies, and she didn’t want to go there.

He started laughing.

“Why the H are you laughing?” (I’m kind of imagining the dialogue, here.)

He explained the mix up with the telegram on page 82, where my grandfather was told, well after he’d gotten multiple letters as late as August 15th that his wife and baby were doing great, that the baby died on July 21st. (Actually my mother, Lynne’s, birthday)

Then my friend pointed out that his exchange with his wife mirrored the exchange, seventy years prior, my grandfather and the Chaplain had.

From Letters Home, page 82:

Letter, August 30, 1945

I saw the Chaplain and got the socks scared off of me. I walked in and in a very mournful manner he handed me the message I am enclosing. At first I was just dazed and then I realized the mistake. I began to smile in relief and seeing the astonished look on the Chaplain’s face explained that I have received letters as late as August 15th and that everything is O.K. The other day when I was notified by the communications officer he just asked me if I heard about the baby and that you hadn’t received any word in a month, probably thinking that the Chaplain had informed me already. It sure took the Chaplain long enough. He must have thought I was a nut for I was all smiles about it.

Link to Letters Home at Amazon, available as an Ebook and paperback:

Contact me for a free copy. Thanks for your interest in my grandfather’s WWII story. Links below from wordpress.


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