In 1949, Frank Stevens is still in the Air Force, although the exact location is not certain. On May 8, he sends his mother a telegram. This is not unusual for Frank, who has sent Mother’s Day telegrams from his faraway posts in the past. This particular date, May 8, could very well be a Mother’s Day.
There is one thing making me doubt that this is a simple remembrance of Mother for that holiday, though: the message. For whatever reason, Frank senses that his mother needs some sort of encouragement at this point—however far away he may be right now.
I went looking for telltale dates. Could it be Agnes’ sister, Lily, who as a single woman had lived with her sister for much of their adult life? Lily Tully did, indeed, end up passing away in 1949, but not until August. I couldn’t find any other significant date that would correspond with this urgent message from so far away.
I couldn’t find anything, that is, until I realized that, if it were indeed a Mother’s Day, it would also bring to mind the loss of Agnes’ husband William three years prior. The anniversary date of his death didn’t exactly coincide but was close enough to make this a melancholy time for Agnes, as Will passed away on May 10, 1946.
Frank, too, was remembering…
MRS W A STEVENS=
5945 SOUTH EGGLESTON AVE=
WENT TO MASS COMMUNION FOR YOU LOVE=