As far as memory goes, both sides of my family have lived in the state of South Dakota. So when, as a newly graduated and married couple my parents decided to move to Seattle, they were traveling as far from family as anyone remembered. Even so, I was able to know most of my extended family– all except my maternal grandfather, pictured to the right. All I knew was from stories or from newspaper clippings. He served in the Second World War, and like many vets, he didn’t tell many stories of his time in the Pacific Theater.
Recently, my mother’s cousin rediscovered letters that he had written to his sister during the war. It was incredible to read what he told her– of feeling homesick while based in Hawaii, and how training was going in Bremerton, Washington. My mother never realized that he had been stationed in the area until we were reading those letters together. Suddenly, my family history did not feel quite so far away. Even though I never met him, it seems my grandfather and I have overlapped in even the smallest of ways.
Listen to my story here!