Saturday, January 22, 2005

Let me tell you a story...

In the mid nineteen thirties, deep in rural Kent, a pretty young woman lived with her young son. The woman was unmarried, a terrible crime then - she was lucky not to have been sent away. She certainly considered herself lucky to have kept her child.

Presently a young man came across the young mother. He loved her, and adored the son. He couldn't have loved that son more if he had been his own flesh. To that young man, the small boy WAS his son.

The young man and the young woman were married. The small boy finally had a father.

The war started. The new father became a soldier, was sent away. He was stationed in the middle east, near a small town in Mesopatamia called Basra. He wrote long, long letters to his young son, who loved to hear about the places he had been and the things he had seen. The son new his father was coming home soon, because that's what his father promised him.

One day, while swimming in the River Euprates, the new father saw a man struggling with the current. Without hesitation, the new father helped the drowning man to safety.

But the Euphrates was too strong, and the new father was swept away and drowned.

Now the drowned man had a twin brother - they used to call them the giant and the dwarf because the drowned man had been so tall, and his twin so short. Between them, the twin and the mother wrote letters to the son, so that he would not know he'd lost his new father.

Eventually he knew his father had died, but he never knew where, or how.

The son became an angry child, an unhappy and rebellious youth, and, at length, with God's help, a loving husband, and an adventurous father of one son, and one daughter. The son grew up tall, and strong, and the daughter was clever with words, and people who loved her called her beautiful.

Many, many years later, another very different conflict started, and that tall, strong grandson of the drowned father was called to war. He went to Iraq, and built water pipelines for beleaguered towns.

He swam, one day, in the Euphrates, just outside Basra. It was very hot, and the water was very cool.

And over a year after the grandson came safely home, the family finally found out where the drowned father died, and how.

That grandson is my brother.

We only found out yesterday that it was Basra where my Grandfather died, saving another man's life.

How small is the world. And how beautiful.


At 6:13 pm, Blogger Sela Carsen said...

Anna, that is beautiful. I'm so touched that you shared your story with us!

At 7:34 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Anna, what a touching story! Bless your heart.


At 9:48 pm, Blogger Melani Blazer said...

What a precious piece of your heritage.

I feel.


At 9:58 pm, Blogger Anna Lucia said...

Thanks guys. :-) I'm just so blown away by this - our not knowing, and my brother having been THERE. It's funny, because I can't explain why that's wonderful to me, but it just is.

At 10:02 pm, Blogger Kate Allan said...

That story is worth being a book.

At 11:13 pm, Blogger Jaci Burton said...

The circle of life is sometimes amazing, indeed. What a beautiful story, Anna.


At 11:32 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anna!!! An Annablog!!!! Yay!!! :)


At 1:13 am, Blogger Shannon Stacey said...


Damn. What an incredible circle for a family to walk. Big hugs to you guys.

At 2:04 am, Blogger Jaye said...

what a beautiful story, Anna.

At 2:21 am, Blogger jessie said...

Anna that was a beautiful story! a lot of people dont want to share personal things with other people because they are shy and afraid. Anna you have the ability to touch and change other peoples lifes! that is a beautiful gift that should not be wasted. thank you for the story and god bless your heart.

At 9:20 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anna, that's a lovely story. And I agree, it could make a great book. (Especially as multi-generational stories are the new hot topic with publishers, hint hint)

Great blog and I'll be coming back!

Kate H (who NEVER does the hoovering - DH can't cook so he gets the icky job, vbg)

At 10:18 am, Blogger Anna Lucia said...

LOL Kate H. Don't get me started - he was SUPPOSED to do the hoovering on Friday. But he was too hungover. *dour look*.

I'm not sure I could fictionalise my family's story, at least, not yet.

But thanks, everyone, for all the lovely comments.

At 2:17 pm, Blogger Julie said...

Reminds me of a fairy tale, beautiful Anna.


At 2:44 pm, Blogger Breezy said...

What a moving story! Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

At 3:27 pm, Blogger ma said...

Thanks for sharing, Anna.

At 2:15 am, Blogger Ole Blue The Heretic said...

That would make a great movie and book.



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