Close to His Heart

“ Goodbye, and more love from Albert.”

In my last post, I mentioned that we had read the last of Albert’s letters of 1941, and the next post would bring us to 1942. Well, dear reader, please bear with me as we have to pause, and revisit October 1941 before we delve into the next year.

As I worked my way through the very many letters of 1942, a little note slipped out of an envelope. Undated, many times folded over, tinted with the residues of coal dust and tobacco smoke. I held it in my hand and knew instantly by the soft curve of it, that this letter had lain close to my Grandfather’s heart, stored in his wallet or pocket book, from October 1941 to February 1963.

I think most people have one – a little note, some scrap of something handwritten. Often the subject is quite mundane (I have kept one of my Mother’s last lists) but the pattern and the flow of words written by one passed, or grown, touches us. There is something of the soul, something that we long to keep close.

The contents of this little note replicate much of what Albert wrote in the post 23 Hull Road. I guess what touched me most was that he begins the birthday letter ‘Dear Daddy’, and that he writes ‘may we spend the next one together.’

None of us know what’s around the corner, hasn’t 2020 highlighted that for us? And in 1941, no-one knew either. They had hopes, love and family and little reminders of those things, stored in letters and lists – kept close.

10 thoughts on “Close to His Heart”

  1. How lovely, Louise! You are right- a note with something handwritten by someone you love is very special. The humble hope of wanting to spend a birthday togehter is also something very endearing. Thinking of this year, so many birthday-get-togethers were cancelled and there was not much to replace it by. Even if we today can meet via digital services, nothing beats being in the physical presence of one another. I’m looking forward to following Albert’s journey into 1942!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You’re so right!
      I hope I can get into a bit more of a rhythm for posting the 1942 letters.. Through events this year that I would never have predicted or imagined, I thnk that I/we have a deeper sense of how the separation and uncertainty Albert must have experienced feels.. life is interesting isn’t it?!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. True, and it sure puts the spotlight on how much we have in common with generations passed. Reactions to crisis situations, not being able to spend time with our loved ones… it’s a deeply human experience that transcends time and in some way brings us closer to our lost ones 💛.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. How lovely that you found it, Louise. I had a similar feeling when my dad passed and I found, right at the back of one of his big desk drawers, an envelope of photos which included ones of my mother from when they were first courting. Why he’d hidden it that far back, I don’t know, but I like to think it’s because he felt they were to precious to have out on show.

    Liked by 2 people

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