Wednesday, April 19, 2017

May 22, 1942: Beloved Birthday Boy

Red Cross Letter from Ella to Opa


22 May 1942
My beloved birthday boy,
All my thoughts sent lovingly to you, and all of you! Hope you are with good friends. Be happy and strong!
I kiss my child!
I can't tell by the stamps when Opa received this birthday greeting from his mother. Happy 22nd birthday, Opa. Ella certainly will never forget his birthday, and though she is limited to 25 words here, I remember her past letters wishing she could make his birthday table, with flowers, gifts, and a candle lit for him. How she wanted to hold him and talk to him about all that is in his heart. 
I know I've wondered if Opa was annoyed by his mother's nagging and guilt trips and general over-the-top mothering... but then I remember she is the only one who still writes, or at least, the only one whose letters he kept until the day he died- so that I could find them nearly 70 years after they were written. He travelled with them across state lines, country borders, and nearly every time zone.
He did say in his auto-biography that he was a bit of a mama's boy. Even 22 is not too old to hear from your mother that you are still her "beloved birthday boy." Happy Birthday Opa, from your mama, who is still alive.

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