Grandmother’s Journal

Treasures In The Attic ~ Part 2

Natalie lifted the front cover of the worn journal, sighing with relief that Grandmother had been Canadian and wrote in English, not some foreign language that Natalie couldn’t read.

Natalie took a sip of her coffee, grimacing when she realised it had grown cold. Leaning back in the chair with her feet tucked snugly beneath her, she began reading.

August 19th 1942

I fear Father will not make it home this time. The war rages on and I am powerless to end it. I feel more like I am enabling it. Working all day on the farm with mother to make sure the crops will come in this year. We have to, there are no men to do the work. Honestly I’d rather be in school learning about literature but Mother says I just have to keep strong until Father comes home.

Just the other day Mother got a letter from Father about all the wonderful young men that he was so blessed to serve with. Father had said they were going on a mission on the nineteenth, that’s today! They intend to raid Dieppe. I am unsure of what that means, but that’s what Mother told me. Oh I hope it goes well. I could not bear it to never see Father again. He hasn’t a clue about the Jewish boy I met the other day. Perhaps it would be better that way.

“Woa!” Natalie slammed the journal shut, almost afraid to keep reading. She grabbed her mug and tucked the journal under her arm, then ran down the stairs as quietly as she could. She didn’t want to wake her mother up on her day off. She hoped Granddad was still sitting at the kitchen table. Natalie had questions.

“Granddad?” Natalie slid into the chair next to the old man at the kitchen table. “Granddad?” Apparently the coffee hadn’t help because the old man was snoring into his newspaper. Natalie nudged his arm and jumped in her chair, startled, when Granddad sat up. “Huh, what? Oh Natalie, what is it my dear?”

“I found Grandmother’s journal and I’m afraid to read past the first entry. I mean the raid on Dieppe, that’s one of the darkest times in the history of Canada. It failed miserably. I almost don’t know if I want to know the rest of the story. Granddad, can you tell me? Does Grandmother’s father come home? Oh, and were you the Jewish boy?”

Natalie sat on the edge of her chair as she waited for Granddad’s response. He placed his hand on her arm to still her. She suddenly realised she’d been fidgeting so hard shed nearly knocked Granddad’s coffee off the table.

“First of all, since you’ve started reading you’ll have to finish. Get to know your Grandmother a bit. Second, you’ll have to find out. I’m not telling you what happens, and no, I was not the Jewish boy. Now if you don’t mind dearest, I’m turning in for a nap. Maybe you can see if your mother is up and wanting breakfast. I know she loves your omelets.” Granddad placed his mug in the sink and hobbled out of the room, his cane thumping along with him.

Natalie poured herself another mug of coffee and returned to the kitchen table. Granddad is right, I have to keep reading. I have to know.


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