Anne’s story 1946 – Flashback and flashforward

One morning while her husband was out, Anne was at home caring for their young son. They were caretakers of a small apartment building and, in exchange, had a suite in the basement. After the war, Ray enrolled as an engineering student at the University of BC.

She was dressed in the typical cleaning clothes of the day – probably a housedress, apron and head scarf – and was sweeping the front steps when she heard a woman’s voice said “Anne?”

Claire welcoming Anne on a later visit

Looking up, puzzled for a moment, she saw an older middle-aged woman standing on the sidewalk, watching her. It took only a few seconds for it to register that the woman was “Aunt Claire.” She had unhappily left Claire behind in California when she was brought to live with her mother as a 10-year-old. There had been no communication in the 15 years since then.

Claire was visiting Vancouver briefly with a friend, and had somehow found Anne’s address, wanting to find out after all, what had become of her. Anne took her inside where they spent a couple of hours catching up. That is how Anne learned that when she was sent to Vancouver, Claire had been told advised not to contact her.

After this reunion, they took up correspondence with each other, and Anne visited once. The photo shows them standing in front of the veranda room that had been Anne’s.

A few years later, Anne and Ray’s second child – a girl – was born on Claire’s birthday. They decided to name the baby… [drumroll of suspense]… Clare !

And that is the end of the story.

Compare the 10 year old with the young adult. Would you have recognized her?

3 thoughts on “Anne’s story 1946 – Flashback and flashforward

  1. BOOHOOHOO – I cannot believe how understated your tale is. When I tell this story I get choked up before I get a word out. However Anne probably prefers it your way.

    • I get choked up when I tell this story too.

      Oddly, Mom and I got into a typical debate when I was preparing to write this post a few weeks ago. I asked her to tell me the story, but she told it to me in an even more understated manner. She wanted to get on to the analysis of the motives and circumstances and history – basically to explain the meaning of life. I kept asking “What were you wearing? Where was she standing? Had you noticed her before she spoke?” I was trying to build a dramatic moment. But Mom would not give me any such detail, so I did my best with it.

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