Recently I received an email from a first cousin who told me she had discovered two letters that my father had written to my maternal grandparents, along with a few photos of me and my twin brother from the early 1950s. These discoveries were made as her family was moving her mother to another apartment. This cousin and I share the same grandparents.
My cousin offered to mail these treasures to me, and they arrived today. Pictured above is one of the envelopes I received. It’s very small, only 3.5” x 4.5“. It was mailed to my mother’s mother, Mrs. Milo Flanders, who at that time lived at 208 E. Morrell St, Stafford, Kansas. The postmark says Dec. 6, 1944. At that time, Dad was serving in France with the US Army. This is the entire letter:
This second letter was written to my mother’s dad, Milo Flanders and mailed on Dec 9, 1944.
The expressions Dad used in his writing were quite colloquial for the time, terms such as “feller” and “Swell”. What I’m most happy to read are the words he wrote at the end of his letter to my grandmother: “..today the Chaplain was to come for our service but he didn’t. Hope he finds us by Sunday cause one or rather about my best physical comfort and satisfying acts here is attending a service and Sunday, I think, is Communion. So keep faith.”
Dad was such a good man and a strong Christian. It’s wonderful to see that he was nourished even in France during World War II by his Faith in God. And his upbeat attitude shows in his closing wish to my grandfather: “Keep Smiling”. I don’t think Dad would have offered that wish if he hadn’t “kept smiling” himself.
I’m grateful to my cousin for sharing this great find. Thank you, Mary Anne!