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Chapter XIX - Roses

Tony was rescheduled for overseas duty. His wife was with child again, and his leaving was very painful for his family. I was very much aware of the sacrifice they were asked to make. His whereabouts had to be strictly anonymous and his letters censored. We had only a number at the post office.

We fell into a routine. Anne would spend Sundays with us. We now enjoyed our daughter-in-law very much, and Carol was the image of Tony. Anne was like a daughter to me. In one of Tony's letters he asked me to look after the welfare of his wife and child. Soon after the shock of his announcement that he had married I had learned to accept the fact and had come to enjoy Anne. She endeared herself to me and we had become friends. She was part of our family now, and she found ways to be kind. She would bring tokens for purchasing coffee since her family did not use coffee. (Coffee was rationed and tokens entitled you to a certain amount). When I needed needles, she would somehow find and bring them to me. Her Sunday visits with my granddaughter were like having my son home. We were at ease, but my son wasn't. After receiving a letter from my son, I decided that he needed assurance. I answered his letter and told him that Anne did not need his concern in regard to our relationship. She was doing well for herself and we were good friends.

Mother's Day that year was a beautiful warm sunny day. I prepared a special Sunday meal because I felt, as a mother, I wanted to honor my family with the best I could offer. The doorbell rang, and when I opened the door there stood a man with a long box in his arms. I took the box and walked to the kitchen and sat on a chair in the sunlight and proceeded to open the box. The most beautiful roses had been sent to me by my son Tony who was overseas. By the card's message I realized he was in Africa. I sat on that chair with tears of love and happiness running down my checks for a long period of time. Those roses were the very first flowers I had ever received and had come from my son who was in Africa.

Time passed and it was a warm August day when I received a call from one of Anne's sisters informing me that Anne had entered the hospital for her delivery. Everything proceeded normally and a beautiful baby boy was born. I took the rest of the afternoon off and went to the hospital. When I arrived at the hospital I was met by a nun who asked me who I was. When she found out I was the child's grandmother she told me to follow her since she wanted me to identify the baby. She showed me the little bracelet on his wrist. My heart went out to my grandson. His father was fighting a war and he was so small and helpless! He needed all the love and affection he could get.

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