Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Birthday Telegrams and a Letter

Yesterday I came across a box that my dad had tucked away in his garage closet; it was full of photos, letters, scrapbooks, and the documentation of all of his military honors. I'd not seen most of it and mama hadn't seen a good bit of it. We spent hours sifting through that box and what treasures it contained! So many pictures of him in high school and college that I didn't know existed! Even his baby book was in that box (he weighed 11 pounds at birth and seriously, why did my grandmother buy him pink crepe de chine baby shoes?).

I'll be documenting a lot of what we found in future posts because this blog, really, is about what is capturing my interest at any given moment (and so much of what we found is fascinating, if only to me). Since I found the box on my birthday, these telegrams and a letter are what interested me today.

They are all dated July 8th (I was born late at night on the 7th), many years ago! The backstory? My dad got orders for Germany not long before I was born. Mama was too pregnant to travel so she moved to Atlanta, living with her in-laws to wait for my arrival. I knew all of this, of course, but had no idea these papers existed. 

He promptly sent a telegram to my mama. I know I'm old but it's a little disconcerting to think that my parents communicated about my birth via telegram!

After sending the telegram, he did sit down to write an actual letter. He'd probably be unhappy about me sharing it but it is just too sweet (and truthfully, I'm doing this for myself as only about three people will see it here). 

Also, they had agreed on my name, but you might notice he had no idea how to spell it! Mama did admit that they'd not really discussed that detail (for the record, her spelling of it won out...after all, she did do the hard work AND was the one filling out the birth certificate!). 

It would be another two months before mama and I travelled to Germany. Can you imagine waiting two months to see your child for the first time (or having to wait that long to see your husband after having a baby)? A lot of military families don't have to imagine it; it is their reality even all these years later.

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