A War Bride's Story: Risking It All for Love After World War II (Amazing Stories)

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9781551539591: A War Bride's Story: Risking It All for Love After World War II (Amazing Stories)
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Gwendoline Cramer was one of the 48,000 war brides transported to Canada by the Canadian government between 1942 and 1947. Many of them were escorted across the water and handed over to their husbands with nothing more than a handsake and a cookbook. Following her heart to rural Saskatchewan, Gwen felt like a fish out of water. She couldn't milk a cow or cook with a wood stove. And then she had the in-laws to contend with...

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About the Author:

Cynthia Faryon is an internationally published author and freelance writer residing in Victoria, B.C. Canadian born, she focuses her writing on Canadian content, covering topics such as travel, family issues, biography and history.

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The ship's whistle blows a long blast, followed by two short. Even though it's only four in the morning, and the sky is black over the liquid lead swells of the Atlantic, I get up. Conscious this will be one of the few days left when I'll be permitted to wear the uniform of Air Force blue, I reverently button the large gold orbs, place my officer's cap at the rakish angle of a Canadian flyboy, and shrug into my greatcoat. The coat hangs loosely over the uniform, helping to hide my thin frame; bulk seems to be missing from my ribs, and I smile when I think of what Ma will say when she sees me so skinny. Gwen, my wife, is a great cook, but war rations made mealtime a struggle. And while there was always plenty to eat at the mess hall, 38 missions as a rear gunner robbed me of my healthy appetite. I feel 75, not 25.Silently, I join other dark figures along the ship's rail. United in war, we are now strangers in peace, and stand soberly hunched together, gazing ahead into the darkness towards the direction of home. None of us knows what to expect. Soon we'll be with family again, we'll return to where we grew up, yet everything will feel different.Just like a picture I once saw in a magazine, of POWs standing wordlessly along a stretch of barbed wire fence, shoulders touching, just staring."The sound of my own voice breaks the stillness, and although it is nothing more than a whisper, it echoes loudly around us."Funny that," the man next to me says quietly. "I was thinking that very thing."I turn and smile at him, realizing this man, who has been closer to me than my brother during our time in the service, was becoming a stranger now that the war is over. If I can feel this way about him, how will I feel about Ma and Pa, or worse, how will I react to Gwen when she arrives from England? I think of my wife, pregnant with my child, patiently waiting to follow me here, and I feel guilt. We were young, scared, and in love. Two complete strangers thrown together by the world at war, with nothing in common but the need to survive. Here I am going home and feeling out of place, but how will she feel when it's her turn to cross the Atlantic? Will we still be in love? We had lived for living's sake, but neither of us had looked beyond surviving the war.

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