Tonight I found the saddest letter, addressed to my grandma Francie in Chicago. The writer was “sorely puzzled by [my grandmother’s] continued silence” and implored her to “think of me at least once while I am Over There.”
It was signed by a heartbroken “Addie — Only a Private.”
I’ll never know if Addie genuinely deserved grandma Francie’s cold shoulder as he headed off to war in the summer of 1918 (reading between the lines, he may have). What I do know is that she married my grandfather the following year – and on a hot September night in a new century, I pulled Addie’s letter from a grey cardboard box. I hope he went on to have a good life.
Click image to read transcribed letter :