For today’s prompt, I chose one that says, “Weave a story around a 60-year old photograph.” I found an old picture of my grandparents that was taken shortly after they were married, just before my grandfather left the country to go fight in World War II.
My Nana was nineteen and my Grandpa twenty-two in the photo. Unfortunately, neither of them are alive for me to ask about the day this photo was taken, so I’ll just make it up as well as I can.
Isabelle had to force a smile as she waited for the photographer to take the picture. Philip would be leaving soon and she didn’t know if or when he would return. All she knew was that he was bound for Europe to fight for the American Army in the war. They’d had such a short time together since their wedding, and now they may not see each other for several years . . . that is, if he survived to return home.
Phil would have to leave straight from the photographer’s studio. It was time for him to report for duty. They had wanted one last memento to sustain them during their time apart . . . to remind Izzy of him if he never came back. He’d be on the front lines. The chances of him making it through the war weren’t good.
Izzy hesitated as she was bidding Phil farewell. She was carrying a child that she hadn’t mentioned. She decided not to tell him yet. She didn’t want Phil to worry any more while he was away. She would surprise him when he returned. She didn’t know that the child would never be seen by the father that he would be named for. She would later bear the boy and bury him within a week’s time, alone.
As much as Izzy wanted to cry, she didn’t want Phil to have to leave a sobbing wife. Instead, she watched him leave with a smile on her face and a photo in hand, praying that he would stay safe and return home soon.
*Author’s note: I can’t even begin to imagine how my grandparents were really feeling when my grandfather left to fight in the war. My Grandpa did survive the war and returned home safely. I believe that my grandfather (and all the men and women who fight for our country) was a hero, as was my grandmother and all the other families that have to be left behind. My family (on both sides) has a long history of former members of the military, and I’m extremely proud of that.