"Sometimes everything makes such perfect sense that thinking there isn't a divine design seems almost madness, but it's not about faith. We are links of an invisible chain, bonded in ways we can't even imagine.
I've spent the last two years collecting old family papers. Some of the letters mentioned names that I've never heard before. That brought me to dig deeper into the past of some of those people who witnessed the days in which our country changed forever. I was on a quest to collect all the pieces of a puzzle that was already complete, but not on display.
I am the latest link of my chain and this is how I came to be.
In loving memory of Patrick O'Clary, my father."
T. P. O'Clary, January 2014
May 19, 1943
This photo is one of the most beautiful memories I have of us. I want you to keep it until you return from Europe. In my next letter I will send you a picture of Tommy, you should see how tall he is.
He's a strong and kind young man, just like his father.
I miss you very much, please be safe and come back soon.
My love, I've got some big news.
Tell lil Tom daddy's coming back: the war is over.
They're sending us home. I'm so close to see you and hold you again, honey, only God knows how much I miss you.
P.S. Don't mind the sidenote, Mark's drunk.
Only God knows how much I miss your meatballs, hunny-hunny.
February 19, 1948
We haven't heard from you in a while now and I'm pretty worried. Brooklyn is not the same since you left for Boston, your mother knocks at our door every once in a while asking about you.
What is going on over there?
I know it's tough but Mark, life goes on.
Come back, we'll face it together. Tommy asks about you all the time, he wants you to teach him how to draw... and for God's sake, just write to your mother, she's at our door again.
Your best friend,
March 18, 1948
My Golden Julia,
If you are reading this it means I'm on my way back to Brooklyn. The time I have spent with you in Boston is unforgettable and I can't wait to see you again. This little portrait of you is an invitation to come visit me in New York City as soon as you can. As I told you many, many times, you have the most splendid voice and your talent deserves the City's spotlights.
Just leave that hospital and come here, Charles and I know some interesting people downtown, we'll get you started.
Stop rolling your eyes and promise me you'll think about it.
January 8, 1949
I'm not going to justify myself. They thought I've lost my mind because of the war... it worked for me. I'm sorry I ran away 4 years ago, but you know the situation. Anyway, I'm coming to visit you in Philly this 4th of July, so we can talk about it. Everything is gonna be just fine, I promise. This portrait is for you. Happy Birthday.
P.S. Are we really using these silly aliases? I don't even like spaghetti.
January 22, 1949
My dear Greg,
I hope everything is going well in Philadelphia and that your grandfather will get better soon.
Your friend Mark visited us today, he was looking for you. I told him you'll be back next week.
He introduced me to his friend Julia, she's from Boston but she's planning to move here in New York City and Greg, she's a very talented singer. We should invite her to sing at our restaurant someday, I'm sure it will be a great success.
Stay positive, my love, and keep me updated about the situation.
P.s. Dad, we miss you, come back soon!
TO BE CONTINUED