Dear Readers: This is a story from someone who I know and love, so I can vouch for its authenticity. If you want your personal story published here, please send it to email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you. Remember to attach a relevant picture, if you have one.
My great-aunt, Suzanne, now deceased had one son.
He was her everything.
He taught Sunday school during his high school years, but it was WWII and when he turned 18 he enlisted. It was the thing to do and he did it proudly.
She worked more than one job, often 3, one as a shill in a underground speakeasy that served alcohol during prohibition, so there were times when that red head was “well connected”. She would borrow a car every weekend to drive down to San Diego to see him at the base where he was training. And, when she could, she would bring him back to Los Angeles to see his girl, Norma. Often when taking him to the train to return him from “leave”, people would mistake her for his girl, and she was never complimented by this, only annoyed at the suggestion. She was proudly his Mama.
Before he shipped out, he made sure his Mama married her then boyfriend, to ease his own mind enabling him to believe that were something to happen to him, she would be cared for. She only married to appease his worry. Her 2nd husband’s name all but escapes me, TFS or Lori may remember it.
All was well, they exchanged letters, and then D-day and yes he was there, and the once regularly arriving letters dropped off, and then the notice, the telegram arrived, stating that Eugene Baldus Beday was now MIA. Time stopped, the world as she knew it fell apart. This may’ve been when the “night terrors” began, we’re not sure. Suzanne couldn’t sleep, or eat and her always trim figure became gaunt with the agony of not knowing where her child was or how he was.
This went on for almost six months. And, then one night while enduring a fitful sleep, she awoke and where the wall of her bedroom should have been there was now a stormy sea. The waves were roiling and she could either smell or taste the salt. And, she was looking out over this ocean towards an unidentified naval ship. As she gazed across this seascape she realized that her son, “Soso” was aboard that ship, and that she would soon have him home. As this realization came over her, she calmed down, the vision faded, and Suzanne went back to sleep.
And, within a weeks time, she received the telegram noting that he had been found in the sick bay of Destroyer, too ill initially to be identified, soon to arrive back in the states.
He was far too ill for our Navy to release him, near death and skeletal with infection, so release papers were refused for another three or four months, and to finally get him home Suzanne had to sign papers releasing the U.S. government from any liability as to his condition upon release and of any negative outcomes. She did this happily, bringing him home from somewhere either back East or mid-West, to California to be nursed back to health by his love, Norma, his childhood doctor and his mother Suzanne.
And, that’s just one of the family stories.