Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday in the Attic - 11/15/08

I'm going to try a new "column" called Saturday in the Attic, where each week I will post some sort of memento.

I'm kicking this column off with something I wanted to post last week, in honor of what would have been my paternal grandparent's 65th wedding anniversary if they were still with us.

John Francis CAHILL and Joan Garrison McMAHON somehow managed to marry on 6 November 1943, just a few months after John started active duty in WWII.  One year later, they were celebrating their one-year anniversary on each side of the ocean, as John was serving in France.  John sent Joan the following letter dated 6 November 1944.

CAHILL, John Francis CAHILL V-Mail 01

Hi Sweetheart

Being somewhere in France on this day sure is not my and your wish. but no matter where I am I am thinking of you more than ever.  I hope this time next yr I will be home.  as is sure lonesome without you.  one of the boys pick up a stamper with this border on it so I made a little card for you.

Love Jack
or papa

Love from your husband on your 1st yr of marriage

Notice that he signs "Jack or papa" at the close of the letter.  He's referring to the fact that Joan is about five month pregnant.  I've had a theory that my dad was one of those "in case I don't come back" pregnancies.  He was born in early March 1945, putting conception likely in early June.  Although John started active duty in June 1943, he remained in the U.S.  He left for Europe on 28 June 1944.  A conception date in early June and his leaving in late June supports my "in case I don't come back" pregnancy theory. 

As an aside, he did return safely in January 1946; they had no other children.

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Becky Jamison said...

What a precious memento! I'm so happy to hear he returned home. Thanks for posting this, Julie! It's a beautiful keepsake.

Judith Richards Shubert said...

Julie, I love your Saturday in the Attic idea. Especially loved your post with the image of your grandfather's letter to Joan from overseas. It's fantastic to have such a wonderful, tangible memory of them.

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