Sunday, May 15, 2016

Voice from the Past -- Still Present

My mother's dear friend Janet Krause sent me a letter.  It's such a joy to hear from her!

She will turn 98 in September.  That reminds me that my mother might still be with us, were it not for the Alzheimer's.  Janet's friends and family will gather to celebrate.  

She writes, "I have trouble remembering names--faces I know."

As I wrote to her:

"You represent my mother Evelyn and so many others.  Because of you they are still with us in some sense.  The times you all lived through together--the Depression and World War II and the 1950s--are more vivid in our memory because they are still in your memory."

Janet and Evelyn were nursing students together at Children's Hospital in Denver in the late 1930s. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Evelyn became a Navy nurse and Janet became an Army nurse.

Janet had surgery for breast cancer two years ago--and beat it!  Yay!

She spent a few months with her daughter in Colorado over the winter holidays but then returned to her apartment in an independent living facility in Mitchell, South Dakota.

"I have a collection of 82 hats hanging in my bedroom--all of which I have worn over the years," she writes.  She and her husband LeRoy both liked antiques.

Janet served as an Army nurse during World War II.  

See an article about her amazing experiences in The Daily Republic of Mitchell, SD, August 29, 2006.  Bombs fell around her as she and others waded ashore in France to provide medical care during the Battle of the Bulge.

My mother would have turned 97 on March 12. Her cousin Walter's wife Aline Pera turned 100 last August. My mother-in-law will turn 94 in September.

May we treasure these living memorials of a time fast fading.  

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