John’s Tragedy (Part I from Kathleen’s Memoirs)

When John was in the army stationed in New Orleans, we got a letter from him saying he’d married a girl named Wanda. It included a studio picture from Wanda, too, introducing herself. They’d see us some time soon when John got leave. Before too many months, there was a letter there was a letter announcing a baby on the way. She was having some complications now, unable to travel, or for them to have company. Of course, we were all thrilled for John and ourselves, but worried about the new little family. This would be the first grandchild. Mama wrote back, asking John to bring Wanda and the baby for a visit as soon as he got a leave after the baby was old enough to travel.

Regular letters passed back and forth for a few weeks, till we got a sad letter from John. Due to her difficult pregnancy,Wanda had gone back to her parents’ home where her father was a colonel at an Army Post in the Midwest. She’d have have her family’s support and recuperate till she was well enough to manage on her own. A month or two later we got devastating news from John. She’d given birth to twins, a boy and girl. Horrifyingly, Wanda and the babies had been hit by a train! Wanda’s parents had had buried them before having the military notify him of the deaths of his wife and babies. He’d tried to contact Wanda’s parents only to be told that since Wanda and the children were dead, there would be no further communication forthcoming. We were all devastated. Daddy set off immediatetly to see John. (to be continued)

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