Brave Men and Women. - The Magic Onions

Brave Men and Women.

Today is Memorial Day and I send a special ‘Thank You’ out into the universe to all of the brave people who have fought for the freedoms we enjoy today.
I especially want to remember my two grandfathers and A Good Man’s dad who all fought in the 2nd World War. They left behind their families and homes and traveled across the seas to lands they had never even seen before.
This photo is of my Dad’s dad, Norman. Here, he is holding his first grandchild, me.
And here, he is feeding his pigs with me… ‘Piiiiiiiig, Piiiiiiiig’ he used to chant.
He left for war shortly after marrying my grandmother. They spent their first years of marriage apart. In the second year of their separation, my grandmother received a telegram informing her that her love had become a prisoner of war. He had been captured by the enemy and they had no further information for her. She didn’t hear another word from him for 4 long years. While those around her lost hope, she never wavered in her faith that he was alive and would come back to her.
On the day that she received his telegram telling her that he had been freed by the Allies, was in an army hospital and would be coming home in a few months, she finally broke down and cried for the time they had lost and time they still had ahead of them.
He never talked much about those long years as a prisoner of war. We do know that he watched most of his friends die from starvation, sickness and exhaustion. He was marched across Europe in mid-winter, often shoeless and coatless. He ate rats. He did what he had to to see his sweet Beetie again. And he did.
A few years after their reunion, my dad was born… their only child, their pride and joy. I often think of the countless times Norman could have died and how all of this that I have now, wouldn’t be here at all.
So, in so many ways, thank you to all those brave people who fought and died so that I could be right in this very place at this very moment. My gratitude transcends time and space and touches you, wherever you are.
Blessings and magic,
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Donni Webber is the mom behind the popular natural living Waldorf website and blog, The Magic Onions - where the magic of nature and the wonder of childhood collide to make each moment a precious gift. She is a photographer, writer, crafter, wife and mother of two inspiring young children. Her work has been featured in many popular publications, including HGTV, Better Homes and Gardens, Disney and Apartment Therapy.

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  1. Wow, what an amazing grandfather and person you’ve known! With stories like that it really makes you appreciate all the people around you and that you encounter, everyone has a story to tell! What a great post!

  2. What a beautiful post! I work with a few veterans of WWII…I just feel so honoured to be in their presence…how important to keep the memory of these brave men and women in our minds!

  3. Norman’s story is similar to my own grandfather’s! Makes me wonder if they were prisoners of war together.

  4. this is a lovely tribute

  5. Lovely post – made me cry! lol

  6. They were so brave, all those who fought for freedom. cheers Marie

  7. WOW! I am so in awe of POW’s….their strength is simply amazing. Thanks for sharing this story of your grandfather and grandmother.

  8. Wow! beautiful post. What a brave man!


  9. Wow – I’m in tears, Donni! What a beautiful and touching story and how precious the love between your grandparents surely was. Your grace is so heartfelt and genuine. Your post has brought this special day to a new height for me. Thank you (and hugs)!

  10. Donni, what a brave, strong man and how wonderful that you have pictures of the two of you together. I always find it so incredible how much the human spirit can endure in the face of adversity. Thank you so much for sharing this.
    Best wishes

  11. Donni … thank you for sharing your beautiful family story. ~Pamela

  12. Just the perfect post right now. I loved reading this. Glad you shared it.

  13. Wow. What a brave man and what an incredible story! Thank you for sharing this.

  14. This brought tears. Sad tears, and happy tears that his strength helped him endure. He sounded like an amazing human being. Thank you for sharing this.


  15. This post has me in tears. How brave your grandfather was, and how strong and lovely your grandmother was. I wish I could meet her. She sounds simply beautiful. As a military wife, knowing people who’ve lost their spouses and loved ones, it breaks my heart. Today is a great day to let those who serve know they are important!

  16. Donni,
    This was a wonderful post to read, thank you so much for sharing:)

  17. Beautiful, just beautiful. It always amazes me what our soldiers go through, and how they endure. Every single one of them has someone who loves them at home. And every single one of those at home goes through such stress waiting for a call, a letter, (and now) an email. I am thankful for the ease we now have of getting in touch with those deployed. I can not imagine how it felt to not know for months, years, where your love was.
    Your grandma was a very, very strong woman.

  18. Thank you for this. A truly beautiful, real-life story.

  19. Brave and strong they certainly were. They did it for us and this makes us brave and strong. Your ex – hippie Dad.

  20. Just a beautiful tribute! Thank you.

  21. Thankyou for sharing such a special gem of a story. Bought a tear to my eye!

  22. Beautiful Don.

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