September 17, 1942

Dear Mum-

Thanks for the birthday present. Mrs. Johnson said silk is impossible to find now. You must have been saving it a long time for a special occasion. I’m glad your special occasion was me! I’ve grown a lot since you last saw me, so the dress doesn’t quite fit, but it’s my favorite style and my favorite color and I love it! I spread it on my pillow when I sleep, for the touch and scent of you. It reminds me of your good night kisses when I was little. Mum, please let me come home now. I’m so grown up, you’d hardly recognize me. What if this war takes so long that you forget me?

Mikey and Mary are thriving here. Mikey’s all sun-brown, cheeks rosy from the clean air. “I’ll never go back to dirty old London,” he tells us. Mary has made friends with all the almost-five-year-olds in the village. She probably doesn’t even remember you. After all, she was just a toddler when we came here. She calls Mrs. Johnson “Mum”, which makes me want to cry. Mrs. Johnson is very good to us, but she will never take your place with me. You are my one and only Mum. Don’t you think it’s time for me to come home?

I know you sent us here to be safe, but I don’t care about that. I just want my own bed, my own home, my very own real mother. Just think, if I came home now, you would get extra milk and eggs on your ration book. I’ve been hoarding sugar for months, and still have the little bar of scented soap a nice lady on the train gave me when we left. All these gifts I’ve been saving for my own very special occasion – you!

Mummy, I’m begging you, let me come home. I have so much to give – companionship, a helping hand, milk and eggs, sugar, and wonderful fragrant soap!

I miss you more than I can possibly say.

Your loving daughter-

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    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    1 year ago

    It is a bittersweet yet lovely story. It was very painful and very sad to live apart from a happy family because of the war. Well done.

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    Reply to  Juma
    1 year ago

    You’re most welcome, Juma.

    Linda Rock
    Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
    1 year ago

    My immediate thought after reading your story, Juma, was that if I were Margaret’s mother, I would be heartbroken. Not only has she been forced to send her children away but Margaret is desperate to come home, and her other two children don’t seem to want to leave. How gut-wrenching to think of your own child calling another woman ‘mum’. Margaret finding every reason she can think of to persuade her mother… Read more »

    Linda Rock
    Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
    Reply to  Juma
    1 year ago

    So very true Juma. I have heard some stories, some of which are really sad. Not all the children sent away were as well looked after as Margaret and her siblings. They would probably have been safer at home.

    Margarida Brei
    Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
    1 year ago

    A sweet note of love for a mother. Well written Juma, and great accompanying photo.

    Carrie OLeary
    Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
    1 year ago

    This is such a touching, bittersweet tale, Juma. Like Linda, I think this story will stay with me – it will certainly be one I think about as I try to get to sleep tonight. Beautifully written and with great sensitivity.

    Christer Norrlof
    Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
    1 year ago

    A very well composed letter, Juma. You have managed to make it sound very authentic with Margaret’s deep longing for her mother and all the little details she mentions. With millions of Ukrainians fleeing from their country these days, your story describes something that is about to happen in our time.

    Henry Vinicio Valerio Madriz
    Henry Vinicio Valerio Madriz(@henry-vinicio-valerio-madriz)
    1 year ago

    Wow! What a touching story!!! Nicely done!

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