It’s the faded signature on the bottom of the postcard that has attracted my attention. I am holding in my hands a piece of family history. My Aunt Maud died in her nineties. Her husband Bill was killed in World War 1 on the Western Front.
In my hand was her last letter to Bill; it was dated December 17th 1916. You can see the unmistakeable Christmas image she stuck onto the front of the card. A wish I knew she wanted to convey to Bill.
The letter was never sent as the next day she received news that Bill had been killed in action. In her stomach her baby kicked, angry she thought that this baby would never know his dad.
Holding this postcard in my hand I couldn’t help but reflect on how she must have felt all those years ago. Left alone, with child, a life of loneliness and solitude. She never re married.
So many years were to pass, she did travel I know, she lived very well, her son grew to be a most interesting man and he himself died a few back also aged in his nineties.
I have pondered what to do with this postcard, found among my mother’s possessions, she had acquired from her mother, my aunt’s sister.
The postcard is old and shows the effects of many seasons now passed. The long hand is the work of a meticulous author, my aunt. It doesn’t really belong to me, so I shall seek out my cousin, the only descendent in that family still alive and pass it on to him. Take it back to where it belongs.
sadness in each Christmas Day