Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Family Fairy Tale: For John, Visitor #100,000

Once upon a time, in a kingdom by the sea, there lived a young widow with her four daughters and little son. They lived happily, if frugally, on a farm in the country and all was well. Then war came to their country. Their simple, happy life changed. Some of the girls went to work as land girls, helping their government in whatever ways they could--sewing bandages, working on farms, raising money through efforts of all kinds.

One day the young widow and her youngest daughter who was seventeen ventured into a nearby city to do some necessary shopping. At teatime they decided to give themselves a rare treat and have tea in a little tearoom in the shopping district.

As they stood in line, a group of young soldiers from a distant land entered the shop. One of them wore his hat at a rakish angle and his blue eyes sparkled as they fell on the fair face of the youngest daughter. She stood closer to her mother and he approached boldly, asking permission to take tea with them. The young widow, unaccustomed to such quick introductions, murmured something that the soldier assumed meant, "Yes." He joined the women at their table and the daughter soon fell under his spell. As they rose to leave, the soldier swept up both checks, and over their protestations, paid for their tea.

When they parted, the soldier asked if he might see the daughter again. "I suppose so," she said. "There is a dance in my village tonight. You may come if you wish." He promised to be at the dance and said good-bye.

It was only when he left that the daughter realized she had not told him her name or the name of her village. With a sinking heart, she knew it was unlikely she would ever meet the soldier again.

She had underestimated his determination. He was angry with himself for being so foolish. Why had he not asked at least where she lived? In desperation he asked everyone he knew if they had heard about a dance to be held that evening. At last, one person said he though there was to be a dance in a small village about seven miles away. The soldier put on his best uniform, mounted his bicycle, and rode quickly to the village.

He found the village with ease, but he had no idea how to find the young maiden he had met at the tearoom. A man walked into view and the soldier approached him.

"Excuse me, sir. I am looking for a beautiful girl with auburn hair. Do you know of such a girl?"

The man looked at the soldier. "Oh, indeed. I know who you're looking for." He leered at the soldier. "She lives in the end house on the next street. You can't miss it."

The soldier thanked the man excitedly and rode down the street. At the last house on the street he dismounted and walked to the door. As he raised his hand to knock, the door opened. There stood a woman with red hair, but this woman was heavily made up and her clothing made no mystery of her trade. Low-cut, clinging red satin draped her figure.

"Hi there, honey, come on in." "No, thanks," the soldier stammered. "I seem to have found the wrong address." He stumbled back to his bike, embarrassed.

He rode slowly back to the main street, thinking he would never find the girl that had filled his mind since their meeting that afternoon. He did not even know where in this village the dance might be taking place. He had been on a wild goose chase, he thought. It was no good; he would never see her again.

It was at that moment a movement caught his eye. Coming down the street was the very girl he had been seeking, walking with her mother and laughing. The young man rushed over and before she could say a word, he said, "Please tell me your name so I will never lose you again."

They married five months later, moved to his country, had thirteen children and lived happily all their years.

He never lost her again during their sixty-one long years together.


Back in her country, her sisters also married and had children. The cousins on either side of the ocean seldom heard from each other except through their mothers, and only saw each other once or twice over the long years. Then a miracle occurred. Someone invented the Internet. Someone invented email and blogging and Facebook.

The long-separated cousins could finally share photos and messages across the miles. One cousin started a blog, and her cousins read it in their distant home, and heard their cousin's voice through another invention called podcast.

The elderly aunt and uncle heard the podcast too, and when one cousin emailed across the ocean to share this news, he became the 100,000th visitor to this blog. And they will all live happily, talking and sharing through their computers, to the end of their days.

The End.

Photos of Uncle Ted, Aunt Flo and John (my 100,000th visitor and wonderful cousin) and lower photo of my cousin Les who found us on Facebook and posted these last two pictures on FB. I am pretty sure he won't mind me borrowing them.


Jaime said...

That was absolutely beautiful and definitely brought tears to my eyes.

Country Whispers said...

What a beautiful story.
It's great that you are able to have a connection with your distant family through the internet. It's not the same as being face to face but it's much better than a letter. (You can share your day to day life stories with just a click of a button in a matter of seconds.

Country Whispers said...

What a beautiful story.
It's great that you are able to have a connection with your distant family through the internet. It's not the same as being face to face but it's much better than a letter. (You can share your day to day life stories with just a click of a button in a matter of seconds.

Debbie Couture said...

Very neat Sue. When I saw the picture of your dad I knew where you were going with your story. At first I thought it was going to be a ghost story. Your family was meant to be. I bet it was hard for your mom to leave her country and family. Glad to hear you are in contact with your relatives across the sea.

Maggie and Roger said...

100,000 visitors! Wow! Way to go Sue. I'm glad we all get to talk to our whole family too. It's really strange to me sometimes because I don't really understand how the internet works but I am glad we can stay in touch with one another so easily now.

Granny Sue said...

Jaime, their story was so surprising to me when I heard it. I'd assumed it was a chance meeting on the street, but the true story was even better. I can remember so well Dad telling it to me, and how even all those years later his anxiety at losing her that day was still apparent.

You're so right, Jessica. Like Debbie, who commented just after you--we went to elementary school together, a very small Catholic school. I had not seen or heard from Debbie in years, but we connected here. I am so glad to be in touch with her again.

Debbie, are your ears red? :-) I will be up your way in November, BTW so maybe we can get together? That would be fun.

Maggie, it's a miracle, I think. I am so glad to finally be able to get to know my cousins and share our lives. It's amazing.

Bubbasgotgas said...

Its been too many years since I heard the story of how Granny and Pop met. I am glad he stuck with it, there have been so many wonderful things brought into this world as a result of their marrriage.

Laura said...

So very cool

Cousin John said...

Thank you for the story. It sounds kind of familiar though and I'm sure I recognise some of the people in the photos. They all look such nice folks!

Anonymous said...

Very good story Sue! When we were in England, we were driving to Caldecote, and Aunt Grace started telling how far Dad would ride his bike to see Mom. It was a very long way from the air force base. What determination and love, incredible!!! Thanks for reminding us of what true love really looks like. tm

Granny Sue said...

Chris, you're right--good things, including you and me :-)

John, I am glad you liked the story. They are nice looking people, aren't they!

Anonymous said...

The term kismet comes to mind...;).


Janet, said...

A wonderful love story with a happy ending.

Rowan said...

What a great story with such a lovely happy ending. It's so good that you are in touch with your English family again after all those years.

*aMbEr* :) said...

hello there :O)
I stumbled upon your heart felt
love story when looking for an antique pitcher that was similar to mine...I always knew that if I believed long and hard enough, my dreams of meeting my Prince Charming just might come true..

after reading your incredible love story, I am reassured to never give up...when I least expect it, my prince charming will approach me boldly and ask me if I would like to take time for tea..and as he has me under his spell, I will be sure to tell him my name... :O) :O)

thank*you so much for such a
beautiful love story..fairy tales really do come true...all you have to do is...Believe... :O)
~~~~~~~*aMbEr*~~~~~~~ :)

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