Her name was Mary.
My grandfather met her in Europe in the middle of the war.
I got her eyebrows, and her wild hair.
She and Grandpa were both of Irish descent.
She was born in England and she grew up Catholic.
He grew up in the States; he was Protestant.
The wedding photos are a blur.
Prior to Grandpa's death, we had always believed that she was the first one to leave, and that my father was raised by a well-meaning stranger because his mother didn't love him.
When we cleaned out his hotel, we found otherwise; it was in the form of letters she had written to his sister. Beautiful penmanship and British spellings.
Frequent use of words like "frantic," "panic," "another woman." She wrote with a clipped English lilt. I always imagined her speaking so too.

She died in '74. Married again, we think. We got her obit at the library. Dad and I talk about looking up his half-sister for kicks, but we forget.

His stepmother's name was Laura, true to Little House on the Prairie form.

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