Have you ever experienced a sequence of events
that just seemed to be set in place by a Higher Authority?
A few weeks back, I stopped in at an "estate sale."
I have that in quotations because it was really sketchy a yard sale.
I browsed around and actually found a couple things.
(No shock there.)
As I was looking over the tables where the books were,
I noticed a pile of letters so picked them up.
The dates were from 1919 thru 1943
which of course sparked my interest,
but what really intrigued me was the name on the envelopes.
I thought maybe it could be a variation of a family name on my mom's side.
So I ended up getting the letters.
The first thing I did was put them in order.
Most were from L.
In 1919-20, they were "courting letters" from her to her eventual husband C.
Those were innocent and entertaining,
but evidently held a place in C's heart as he kept them
to be read by me 100 years later.
Then came the later letters during the first part of WWII.
These were primarily from L to E,
the son of C and L.
(Hope that's not too confusing, but I don't feel right sharing the names.)
E was 17 turning 18 years old and had been sent to work on a farm
in order to be deferred from the draft.
He was at first homesick, but soon met a girl and bought a car
so was then otherwise distracted :-)
Through the letters, I learned that there was also a younger sister, Y.
I wasn't very far into the letters before I tried looking up some of the names.
Due to the dates, I knew C and L would be gone
so looked up E.
He passed in the 90's.
So I looked up Y. She died as a young wife and mother in a car accident.
I then went back to E and read his obituary to see if he had any children.
The only survivor listed was his wife B.
Sooo, I looked up B.
I was stunned to find she had passed away
less than a week prior to me acquiring the letters.
My heart sank.
Her obituary listed no survivors,
but it did state the funeral home that was handling the arrangements.
I called the funeral parlor and explained to a very nice lady
what I had and that if there was family that was interested,
I would like to give the letters to their rightful owners.
I didn't hear anything for a couple weeks
and thought maybe there were no heirs or if there were, they didn't care.
Then I got a call from "Don" who is a son of E and B.
He said who he was, and I was thrilled.
It was a couple of days before we could coordinate to get the letters delivered.
In those couple days I corresponded with Don's wife a little.
They were curious since they didn't even know the letters existed.
They were trying to figure out how they went from "Grandma and Grampa"
to a yard sale to me.
The only thing they came up with was that
C's brother and sister-in-law lived with them at the end of their lives.
After both C and L had passed and then the brother,
the S-I-L (Don's aunt) was left in the big ol' house alone.
When she moved, she must have had a yard sale
or just put them in a dumpster which someone pulled from.
I learned that the name was indeed a variation of our family name.
The story is that there were 5 brothers who got in an argument
and changed their names so they weren't the same.
I delivered the letters to Don.
He was a rather dry character, but he had just lost his mom
so I'm certainly not judging there.
There were a couple other letters in with the lot from L's father and brother
which would be Don's great grandfather and great uncle.
I haven't heard from them since I delivered them which is fine.
I can't express how good it felt to deliver them.
Something in me feels like L was nudging the circumstances.
On a historical note:
It was interesting to read about some of the things
that were going on during the early years of the war.
There was less rubber in her corslet as she called it.
They couldn't get a suitcase because leather was in short supply.
She and E must have had a sweet tooth.
She would make him cookies and candy,
but almost begged for sugar rations from him and her in-laws :-)
There were funny bits about cars and dresses etc.
It was fun to read "ironed a whole dishpan of sprinkled clothes."
Overall, it was just an overall blessing.
I know one more little tid-bit about our family tree
as well as everyday morsels of life in the past,
and the letters are back with their family.
Hope each of you has a blessed day~
This is so beautiful. I loved reading this blog post. I am so happy that you were able to share this back to the rightful family. I hope they appreciate what you have done out of the kindness of your heart. The reading about the family and their lives must have been interesting; and even more so since it very well could be ancestry of your own. It must have been a God Wink! Right place at the right time.ReplyDelete
Oh I love that term - "a God Wink." That is perfect!Delete
Obviously one of those times where the universe aligned perfectly. Good for you for doing all the research and attempting to track down the family. I hope they're interested enough to hang onto the letters and pass them along to another generation in the future.ReplyDelete
They seem to and mentioned that they have kids and nieces and nephews etc. so I'm pretty sure they will stay safe.Delete
I believe you will hear from Don once he has absorbed and thought about his family heritage. Bless you for intercepting that history and passed it onto the remaining family member.Delete
Thank you Saundra. Either way, I'm pleased:-)Delete
That was an interesting side road that you traveled for a few days.ReplyDelete
It certainly was. Actually I think you would have gotten a kick out of a few of the happenings. :-)ReplyDelete
What a neat story!!! I love that there are still caring people that go out of their way for strangers! Beautiful 🤎ReplyDelete
Thank you Jes.Delete
What a great story! I wonder if someday someone will read all of the letters I've saved. They are between my grandmother and I and my brother and I. It is tradition to write a letter every Sunday.ReplyDelete
That is a fabulous tradition! I love hand written letters. Sadly, there are fewer and fewer being written.Delete
What a fantastic story! How exciting it must have been to have found and read all of those letters. I love the Victorian design. It was sad to hear about the family members. (especially the mother who died so young.)ReplyDelete
What an interesting story and you are quite the detective being able to trace down the heirs. I found a group of letters in my mom's house when she died from my dad to my mom when they were "courting"...Now there are no more letters. Just emails...ReplyDelete