Dear Grama

Compliments connect

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May 14th, 1946

My Darling Nick,
Thank you darling for the two lovely letters I got to-night. I hope you are okay darling as it leaves me but loving you terrifically even though for a while it has to be from a distance. Things are very much the same back here, same old routine. We got a letter from Albert this morning and he said they have been told to stand by ready to move from the 15th, which is to-morrow, and he reckons to be here by about the end of June. The way I have worked it out I shall just about miss him, which will be a shame, but I would give up anything in this world to be with you darling and when I get those papers, P.G.E., I shall be the happiest girl in the world. To know I shall soon be in your arms again. Janey said to-day that they had better put Welcome Home Albert in one window and Ta Ta Rene in the other one, it’s going to be terribly hard to say Goodbye to everyone darling but because I love you it’s worth it. There weren’t any celebrations here darling on May 8th because they are saving them all up for June 8th, that is going to be the big day. Naty was round to-night, Julia and baby Rosalind are getting on fine, they hope to come home from the hospital on Friday. They ordered a pram from two places to make sure they have got one so Naty said if the other one is ready by about August, would I like it? I wonder if I will be thinking of prams by then. I did a bit of cobbling the other day and nailed some rubbers on my shoes so Janey has just measured her heels and asked me if I would get her a pair tomorrow and bang them on for her, I reckon I must be the Jill of all trades, but my next job is going to be looking after you darling, please God soon. I guess that rounds up the news for to-day darling, another day nearer to you darling, if I had my way those ships going backwards and forwards would be going at top speed just to hurry things up a bit. Well now I guess I ‘ll go to bed darling. Good-night sweetheart, God Bless You and may all your dreams be pleasant. Good-Luck dear. Au-revoir hope to see you soon. All my love to you forever.
Your everloving wifey,
Rene
I LOVE YOU (in x’s)

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May 21, 2013

Dear Grama,
Today I can’t help but think of how tough it must have been for you to leave your family. My journey is entirely different in that sense. I’m missing my family and fiancé every single day, but will be reunited with all of them soon. Both my family & the family I’m marrying into. It’s something that I can’t even begin to imagine what it was like for you. Reading about other war brides experiences leaving their parents and thinking about yours, makes my heart ache. I believe you only saw your mom once more after moving to Canada, and your brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews were only sporadically together again with you for special occasions. That is another gift your letters have brought to our family. We have connected with over 10 of your relatives…mostly nieces and nephews and their families. Last weekend I was lucky enough to meet up with Naty & Julia’s daughter, Vivian…Rosalind’s younger sister. We had a lovely visit, shared stories & brought memories back to life through many tucked away photographs. In a few letters before this one, you wrote to Papa about what a proud Father Naty was. You said he was beaming with pride to announce the arrival of the 6lb 5oz baby Rosalind. I wanted to share this with Vivian & Rosalind because it reflects something so beautiful: the gift of sharing the way someone sees you & your loved ones. You complimenting your brother on his graceful transition into fatherhood that would forever change his life.
It reminds me of the video below from Soul Pancake. It’s something that we really should all be doing. Giving those compliments that are sometimes so obvious that we don’t feel need to be said, but are such a gift to share.
It makes me think about the things you must have said to your family before your departure to Canada. For me, being over here in London for the past four months has been both up & down. I have realized that I really love using the approach of telling those who mean the most to me just how much I love & appreciate them.  It’s sometimes in a card, a hand written letter, an email or a text and regardless of the form, it has made me feel connected to them in a whole new way. It’s a type of connection that I’m learning through you.
With a granddaughter’s love & admiration,
Carly
xoxox

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2 thoughts on “Compliments connect

  1. Wowie, a woman who hears of her father’s excitement about we birth 67 years after it happened — that is incredible, and this record is in a mention in a hand-written letter. I wonder what people will be able to hear about their birth-day 67 years from now??

    Your posts remind me of the power of the tangible, things we can touch, hold, smell and feel. And not just letters. Connection with tangible things (including people) is such a fundamental human need. Written communication and digital communication can be incredible media, but when it comes to warming the human heart, there’s nothing like a touch or a hug. Thank you for this beautiful reminder of the power of communication our feelings — they can cross over the ages.

    • Thanks for your beautiful words, Lisa. When I think of my future children & grandchildren…I truly wonder what kind of world it will be for them. What amazing things will be available to them & what universal things that are timeless and will continually be a part of their lives…like what you’ve just mentioned CONNECTION! Oh it will be lovely to witness. Love to you on this day! xox

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