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The finest flower of my dream garden


A few days ago we received this delightful letter from a reader in New York.

It is wonderful that he wanted to share his father’s romance from a distance story and express his best wishes to all New Zealanders.

Dear Daily Encourager reader;

After VJ Day, which signified the end of World War II almost 75 years ago, my father George Withers was given leave from his job as a war artist for the US Army and its publications at ETO headquarters in Paris under General Eisenhower.

My dad decided to return to the UK, where he had served in 1944.  He sailed to Southampton and took trains, first to London, and then to Edinburgh.

His goal was to visit Kilwinning, a small town in the west of Scotland where his mother Jenny had been born.

Her entire family had moved to the States so that her father Sam Smith could continue his career as a miner in Deepwater, Missouri.

In free moments my dad sent romantic, illustrated letters to my mother Virginia, who was in Manhattan with me (a newborn).  Throughout the war my parents corresponded across the Atlantic.

They carried on their love for each other, even though they were forced to self-distance because of the war.

These days we are all self-distancing because of the coronavirus pandemic.  On the train from London to Edinburgh my dad met two men who were in the New Zealand Navy.

Today I am sending you one of my dad’s letters home. It’s watercolour shows my dad watering a tall flower whose bloom is my mother’s pretty face.

I am represented as a bud.

Several amorous sentiments accompany the images.

My hope is that you and all New Zealanders stay safe in this crisis.

Best wishes,
Brian Withers

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