Archive for the ‘love’ Category

MERRY CHRISTMAS #1

December 7, 2017

Christmas 1

It’s never too early to send Merry Christmas wishes, is it? My friends tease me because my card is usually the first they receive. Little do they know that I write my cards around Halloween and wait to mail them as long as I can stand it. And so, I’ll be posting a Christmas card every now and then throughout December. This is one Dad enclosed in Christmas cards about 5 years after WW2. As you can see, my sister, Maureen, and I are engaged in a serious discussion about reindeer. Sometimes, instead of sending a picture of us at Christmas, Dad would send people pictures of themselves, photos he’d secretly snapped of them during the year. People did seem to like those photos better than the ones of Maureen and me.

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THE FICKLE ARMY

November 21, 2017

Leave denied

Toward the end of WW2, all my mom (aka Lt. Helen Eberhart Daley, Army nurse) wanted to do was to secure a leave of absence and reunite with my dad (Captain Frank R. Daley, M.D.). She had been working nonstop in a General Hospital in France, and he had moved with a mobile unit (later called a M.A.S.H. unit) into Germany. When the war would finally end, they would have many hard decisions to make, and Helen wanted to make them together. Should she stay where she was? return to the States? volunteer for the C.B.I., service in China, Burma, or India? She carefully crafted this plea for a well-deserved leave, requesting only 7 days, though she had 26 days coming. The Army, through whatever powers that be, answered with one handwritten word: Disapproved.

http://www.dandibooks.com/with-love-wherever-you-are

 

MY GRANDMOTHER’S STORIES

October 31, 2017

Cissna

This is the home of my grandparents (Lt. Helen Eberhart Daley’s parents) in Cissna Park, IL. My sister and I loved to visit there twice a year to play with our cousins in fields, corn and coal bins, barns, basement. Mom was one of 11 children, so we were blessed with an abundance of cousins. Grandma Eberhart (maiden name Eichelberger) could tell a great story. Grandkids ate in the kitchen, a swinging door separating us from the long table in the dining room. I remember pressing my ear to the crack in the door, waiting for my two favorite words: “‘Member when…?” These words were followed by the most amazing, but true, stories. My favorite came when one of Grandma’s children would get her to tell about crossing the ocean to come to America. Her job was to carry the little plastic Nativity brought from home in Germany. Little Helen slept with the figure under her pillow. Nauseated from rough seas, she clutched that figurine as she leaned over the side of the boat and “fed the fishes.” The only item I retrieved from the ol’ Eberhart house was that plastic Nativity. It now sits in our dining room.

What family mementos do you have? Do they come with stories you should pass down to your grandkids?

 

AUNT DOT’S STORIES

October 24, 2017

Dot and Pete

If you’ve read With Love, Wherever You Are, you’ve heard a bit about my Aunt Dot and read a few of her letters. Nurse Dorothea Daley, big sis to Dr. Frank Daley, joined the Army before the outbreak of WW2 and was sent to the Philippines. The Japanese bombed her hospital the day after Pearl Harbor, forcing surviving nurses to drag patients into the jungle. I remember Aunt Dot’s stories of brave wounded soldiers who helped in any way they could, then returned to battle. She met “Boots” there and married him in a foxhole during bombings. He was captured and forced into the “Death March of Bataan.” She never saw him again, but spent the rest of her life trying to find him and waiting for his return. So many stories . . .

Car Trips with Frank and Helen

October 10, 2017

Daley Trio

This may not look like a car trip of happy campers (Maureen was taking the picture), but my memories of our travels are all good–except for my persistent carsickness, which continues to this day. Car time was one of the best times to pump my parents for stories, many that became part of WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE. Joe and I have always used car trips for telling our kids family stories, and now they tell their kids and we get to trap our grandkids in the car and inundate them with stories. That’s the way it works.

Granddaughter Cassie, barely 7, listened intently to my husband’s story about a fishing trip when his mom caught the big fish. Cassie knew that “Pa’s” dad died when Pa was a kid. She studied a picture of her, sighed, then said, “I miss all the dead people I didn’t get to know.” Me too. But our stories are the next best thing we can offer.

WW2, BASEBALL, & ROCK AND ROLL

September 21, 2017

Rock and roll

I had the best time when I took the family back to Hamilton, MO, my hometown, birth through college (at Mizzou, of course). I loved sharing Hamilton with Joe and our granddaughters. In a library talk, Ellie (short for Helen) dressed in Mom’s (Helen’s) Army jacket when I talked about WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE. She changed into her rock ‘n’ roll persona when I read ROCK AWAY GRANNY. But I got to wear my Royals’ jersey as K.C. Batgirl for A GIRL NAMED DAN. Dream come true for this small-town gal!

WITH LOVE, HELEN EBERHART DALEY

September 19, 2017

Ohio Mom

This is my mom from 2009, Helen from WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE. She was as lovely then as in her WW2 days. We convinced her to come live with us in Ohio, and to leave Hamilton, MO, her home with Frank, my dad, for 60 years or so. It wasn’t an easy battle with this feisty gal! But once committed, she never complained, but looked for new ways to share the Spirit that lived inside her and touched everyone she met. Those last 5 years were my best with my mom. I pumped her for war stories, never mentioning the stacks of letters secure in the Army trunk and untouched since 1945, letters she and Dad wrote as newlyweds on different war fronts, letters I wasn’t allowed to open until she joined Dad in heaven.

WARTIME BRACELET

August 24, 2017

I loved this bracelet when I was a kid, though Mom rarely wore it. All I knew about it was that she acquired it during WW2, when she was an Army nurse serving on the front in France. She kept it in the little gold box, also picked up in France. The bracelet was the only piece of jewelry I wanted after Mom died.

Then, as I was reading through the 600+ letters I found in an old Army trunk, letters my mom and my dad wrote each other as Dad, an Army doctor, served on the German front, the pieces fell together. Dad wrote that Fritz, a trusted German prisoner in their British unit (more details in With Love, Wherever You Are!), was making coin bracelets for soldiers to send home to their wives, and Dad was thinking about getting Mom one. But a later letter said he’d decided they should collect coins from every place they were able to rendezvous. I ran to the little gold box and examined the coin bracelet.

Here’s what I can make out with a magnifier: 50 centimes 1922 “Commercie Industrie; Farthing 1943; Nazi Swastika and bird, 1941, and on the other side “Hitler Deutsch Reich Pfennig  (I think); 1922;  5 Centimes 1932 “Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite”; 1944 coin has a stern-looking man’s head and says “Emanvele III”, 10, followed by a small c with a dot in it. I may have mistakes, as it’s hard to read. I welcome any input on these coins! But I felt as if I’d unearthed a treasure, so I wear this bracelet whenever I do a reading of With Love, Wherever You Are.  http://www.dandibooks.com

WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE

July 24, 2017

Imagine yourself serving in a makeshift hospital overseas. Now, imagine you’re in the middle of World War 2, trying to care for desperately sick, wounded, terrified soldiers. And on top of that, you are a newlywed, and your spouse of only a few weeks is also at the front, caring for battlefield wounded . . . in a different country. How could such a marriage survive?

Letters. These are just two of the Army trunkful of letters from my mom and dad, Dr. Frank Daley and Nurse Helen Eberhart Daley. They lived for mail call, when they would hear from each other and know they were safe and still in love, in spite of the physical distance between them. Imagine waiting for a letter, hoping, praying . . . and nothing for days and days. You had been writing 2 or 3 times a day, every day. And then, imagine receiving a treasure–11 letters at once.

I based the novel, WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, on my parents’ stories and on the over 600 letters they left me. http://www.dandibooks.com/with-love-wherever-you-are/

KIDS STILL SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS

July 21, 2017

babysitters

This post only makes sense if you saw my last posting about Art Linkletter and his classic, KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS. Here are a few kid quotes from the sequel I was honored to write: KIDS ARE STILL SAYING THE DARNDEST THINGS:

Q: What does God look like?

A: He’s really, really, really old–like 23. But He never looks a day older every time you see him.

Q: What makes God angry?

A: When his creations turn out too good . . like cockroaches and my brother.

Q: Why do you think we have mothers?

A: She’s the only one who knows where the Scotch Tape is???

Q: Who’s the boss at your house?

A: My dad’s the boss of our house . . . until Grandma comes over. Then he’s just one of us.

So many kid quotes in this book have shown up on the Internet. I’ve received forwarded emails from friends who thought I could use a good laugh. Only, all the quotes were from my book.

Finally, the three beauties in this picture are my granddaughters. Maybe I feel another book coming on: GRANDKIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS.