No man can possibly
know what life means, what the
world means, until he has a child and loves it. And
then the whole universe changes
and nothing will ever again seem
exactly as it seemed before.
In honor of my dad on Father’s Day:
This is the translation of a letter written in 1943 in French received by Mrs. Norman F. Holcomb (my mom) of Walnut Springs, Texas, and refers to her husband, Pvt. Holcomb (my dad), who was in the Medical Detachment of the Railway Operating Battalion stationed in the Italian area:
“Permit an Algerian who is unknown to you to thank you sincerely for what America and the Americans are doing for us. Since the arrival of the American troops at Boue, the whole Algerian population, especially the Jewish, has sought the friendship of your brave soldiers who come to free us from the fascist and racial yoke. My husband and I congratulate ourselves upon having been among the first. We do not know how to express our gratitude to you for the intelligent care and attention which your husband has been so good as to give my two children, two little girls aged nine and six. (Dad was a medic and when he was off duty he took medicine and bandages to treat these two girls for severe burns.) Your husband was so kind as to show us photographs of you and your little girl (the girl of whom Madame Atlau speaks is their first born, me, and I was only a few months old at that time.) How pretty she is! We look at it often and never cease to pray that God may protect her for you. The American Red Cross, outstanding philanthropic institution, has presented to infants born since March 1st of this year, these items (infant layette sets) not to be found in Algeria for the Nazis and Italians have denuded us of everything. My cousin who has profited by the gift of one of these outfits begs me to thank you in her name and in the name of all who have benefitted by these. It is a commission which I gladly perform. I have sent you by your husband a little bracelet of identification (which I still have) intended for your daughter. I beg you to accept it as a gesture of friendship. I close, dear Madame, in wishing good luck to you, your child and your husband, and hoping that total victory for the Allied Nations is near. Madame Albert Atlau, Boue, Algeria.”
Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. ~Proverbs 17:6 ✝
Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.