Letter To Mrs. Kennedy - Kitchen Clatter Blog at Allrecipes.com - 164474

Kitchen Clatter

Letter to Mrs. Kennedy 
Mar. 18, 2010 12:22 pm 
Updated: Jul. 16, 2010 11:24 am
Okay, yesterday something amazing happened.  I know this has absolutely NOTHING to do with food!  But I am so happy that I can't contain myself, so I have to tell all of you!

Many years ago, I had a conversation with my father (who passed 2 years ago), about a poem that he had written when he was stationed in Germany with the US Army in the 60's.  He wrote this poem when he heard that President Kennedy had been shot.  His poem was published in Stars and Stripes magazine.  He also wrote a condolence letter to Mrs. Kennedy expressing his sympathy and included a copy of this poem.  She, in turn, sent him a note thanking him for his kind words.  His letter and his poem were then admitted into the JFK Library and Museum.  I was so impressed by this story that I was actually taking notes.  I wanted to someday find my fathers poem in the JFK Library.  My notes were nothing elaborate.  On the page (which I somehow managed to keep through the many moves) all it said was this:

South East Area Command
United States Army of Europe
Stars and Stripes
Poem in the John F Kennedy Library
Poem on a plaque at Hayes (which is the Catholic School my father had attended)

That's it...not very thorough I know.

Now, at the time of this conversation, I was living in Iowa, which made this task very unlikely to complete.  But as all of my AR friends know, I married a sailor and jetted off to live in Connecticut.  Did I mention that my home is only an hour and a half from the JFK Library?  :-)

My husband and I had a ceremony to attend in Boston yesterday.  So for the past couple of weeks, I have been doing research and trying to track down my father's writings.  I had NO LUCK!  I was searching through digital archives from Stars and Stripes.  I was searching the digital archives from the JFK Library.  I found nothing.  So I called the Main Research Room at JFK and spoke to a very nice woman who informed me that finding this may not only be time consuming, but impossible.  The archivists at that time were not as thorough as they are now.  They made the decision, back then, to keep some condolence mail, and to throw some away.  She informed me that, on the bright side, the poetry has it's own "section" in the condolence mail.  This may have saved it from the trash.  Another downside, there are more than 30 cardboard boxes of this poetry, and I would have to sift through them page by page to find it. 

So, I settled into the fact that IF I did find this poem, it was going to take MANY trips to Boston and countless hours of searching. 

Well, yesterday finally arrived, and we headed to Boston.  The ceremony we had to attend ended up being somewhat of a bust, due to lack of preparation, which let us arrive at the JFK Library just after noon.  I had to check in and fill out some forms in order to be able to access the archives.  Then a woman brought me a cart with a bunch of cardboard boxes on it.  These were the boxes I had to sort through.  Most of them were large, plain boxes.  But the first 2 on the cart were small archive holders.  So I started with those.  I quickly figured out the first small box was condolence mail that had been sorted and selected for the book that was recently published, "Letters to Jackie".

Not even halfway through the second small box I found it.  I saw the US Military border of the stationary.  I think glanced to the top where I saw the words United States Army of Europe.  At that point I knew I had found it!  My eyes lowered to the letter itself and I saw it.  My Father's handwriting.  I instantly started crying.  I didn't even know what to do.  I walked up to the desk and told the archivist that I had found what I was looking for, but I didn't know what to do now.  He, knowing the story, said in disbelief, "No you didn't!  I want to see it!  Go get it!"

I was bawling even harder by this time.  I brought it up to him and he kept telling me he couldn't believe I had found it!  He had hoped I would, but knew how unlikely it was.  Neither of us could believe that I found it within 45 minutes of arriving at the library!  He called down to the security desk and asked them to escort my husband and my son up to the research room.  When Casey and Griffin got upstairs, I had Steve (the archivist) pose for pictures (and video) with my husband, my son, and my father's letter. 

I cannot begin to convey how important this was for me.  I don't really know why I felt I had to find this, but I did.  This experience has made me once again feel a closeness to my Dad, whom I miss so dearly.   I wish he could be here to see that I found it, to read his words again, and to see that our conversation had meant a lot to me.  Though I'm sure I would use any excuse for him to be here!  I miss him very much, and this was such a wonderful experience.  And thank you to all of you for sharing it with me. 
Mar. 18, 2010 12:32 pm
Whew! I've got tears for your story. How beautiful and wonderful that is! I have to say I was hoping for his quoted letter, too (I'm greedy). So glad you found it! Thanks for this. :)
Mar. 18, 2010 12:33 pm
Oh, Meagan! What a beautiful story! Your Dad is smiling from heaven! Congratulations!
Mar. 18, 2010 12:33 pm
What an amazing story!! I got cold chills!!! How exciting for you, and what an incredible piece of history you are a part of!
Mar. 18, 2010 12:34 pm
Wow, just WOW!!
Mar. 18, 2010 12:38 pm
i am so happy you found a new closeness with your dad. thank you for sharing your story.
Mar. 18, 2010 12:41 pm
Thank you so much ladies! And Sunny - here is an excerpt just for you. "I was deeply moved by what happened to the president. I share your sorrow with you in every degree. I am a catholic myself, therefor he was more than just a wonderful president. He was the kind of shining example that brought the walls of prejudice, against catholicism, crashing to the ground"
Mar. 18, 2010 12:42 pm
I am crying now
Mar. 18, 2010 12:44 pm
I was crying again as I was writing the blog. It was a very emotional experience. I feel truly blessed to have found it!
Mar. 18, 2010 12:44 pm
Such a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing it with us!
Mar. 18, 2010 12:46 pm
I am awestruck by your blog... what a wonderful story with great memories of your father. I consider it a great blessing you found it!! Thank you for sharing
Mar. 18, 2010 12:54 pm
wow was an amazing story, it brought tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat the size of Texas! Thank you so much for sharing
Mar. 18, 2010 12:59 pm
Wow, I believe your Father wanted you to find it as well...I'm sure hew as there with you in spirit. How beautiful. Did they let you take a copy of it??
Mar. 18, 2010 12:59 pm
Aw, thanks for satifying my nosy nature! Your dad sounds like an interesting person. How cool of him to take the time to let her know how he felt! :)
Mar. 18, 2010 1:01 pm
Way awesome story! And yes, I got teary-eyed, too. I have to say...I honestly believe that your dad knows you found the letter, and he probably had a hand in you finding it so quickly (that "still, small voice" that led you to the correct box right away). I'm so glad you found it! Did they let you take a copy of it?
Mar. 18, 2010 1:03 pm
Great story! Sounds like you had SOMEONE guiding you to the prize.
Mar. 18, 2010 1:05 pm
I am sitting at my desk at work and started crying. My coworkers must think I'm crazy or hormonal. Thanks for sharing your wonderful story.
Mar. 18, 2010 1:09 pm
Dang it Meagan, now I'm crying too. I didn't even cry about it when you called me- reading about you crying... oh, jeez.
Mar. 18, 2010 1:11 pm
Daisy - I too feel blessed! Thank you!
Mar. 18, 2010 1:12 pm
Noemi - They actually made multiple copies of everything for me! The letter, the 2 poems, and even the envelope he sent it in! Steve was such a nice man!
Mar. 18, 2010 1:12 pm
This is so freakin' cool! Thanks for sharing!
Mar. 18, 2010 1:13 pm
No problem Sunny! My family has copies of one of these poems, but the only copy of the letter in existence was the one in the library! It is incredible to read these words my father wrote 47 years ago!
Mar. 18, 2010 1:15 pm
Keri and Pamela - that was my thought exactly! I had actually asked him for his help. Looks like he came through for me! :-)
Mar. 18, 2010 1:16 pm
Olivia - and to rest of my AR friends - Thank you so much for sharing this with me. Thank you for caring enough about my story for it to have moved you. You are all wonderful people, and this is exactly why I couldn't wait to tell you!
Mar. 18, 2010 1:18 pm
CP - I just called Becky and told her about it too. She can't believe it. She said May is too long to wait to see it, she wants me to scan and email her a copy now. This was the first she has ever heard of this story. She was amazed!
Mar. 18, 2010 1:18 pm
Thanks Pam!
Mar. 18, 2010 1:19 pm
I can't believe she hadn't heard of it. But if you're scanning things, might as well email it my way :) PS, what were you saying about my nose? I think you forgot a word, weirdo. :)
Mar. 18, 2010 1:22 pm
What a wonderful story! And your dad DOES know you found the letter and that those conversations meant so much to you!
Mar. 18, 2010 1:26 pm
What an awesome story! I'm so glad you found it.
Mar. 18, 2010 1:30 pm
Oh, Meagan, I certainly share your excitement. Wow - I am still in shock. That just had to be an incredible feeling....never to be forgotten. Good for you!
Mar. 18, 2010 1:35 pm
Zwhat a beautiful story!!! I am sitting here shedding a tear or two. I kow your dad helped you that day and he will always be with you!! What great memories for you! ~Val
Mar. 18, 2010 1:43 pm
Oh, Meagan, I certainly share your excitement. Wow - I am still in shock. That just had to be an incredible feeling....never to be forgotten. Good for you!
Mar. 18, 2010 1:46 pm
Fantastic! I had a friend who would go genealogy hunting with me. When he was new to the subject, we would walk into a probate office, he would pull a book off the shelf, open it, and he found his ancestors!!! Once he understood that most people use a methodical approach to finding their grandparents, he never again could luck out like that! I'm glad that you lucked out! That is wonderful!
Mar. 18, 2010 2:12 pm
Aw that is so touching =,}
Mar. 18, 2010 2:22 pm
Wow!! Wonderful story. I lost my Dad over 10 years ago and not a day goes by that I don't think of him. I share in your excitement in finding what a wonderful treasure. When that happens it is such a connection to your Dad. He most certainly was standing over your shoulder guiding you. And what a wonderful piece of history for your family.
Mar. 18, 2010 2:42 pm
M621: Nice story with a beautiful ending. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Mar. 18, 2010 3:07 pm
Well you and your Dad both just reduced me to a puddle. I'm quite sure he played quite a hand in putting that letter on top of the pile. What an amazing legacy for you to have for Griffin! I just couldn't be happier for you!
Mar. 18, 2010 3:21 pm
Wow! Megan! What a beautiful story and I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face! Glad I am at home alone! I lost my dad five years ago and not a day goes by that I don't think of him and miss him dearly. He was always my "rock". Such a wonderful memento you have of your dad!
Mar. 18, 2010 3:40 pm
Amazing story. And as I sit here I can just imagine how you felt the moment you realized you were actually holding what you had been searching for right there in your hands. Your Dad's words, right there in your hands. You must have really sensed his presence then. Wow....
Mar. 18, 2010 3:43 pm
I was in the service on that day, too. It was horrible to see so many uniformed men struggling to withhold their emotions. Most of us wandered off to "a private spot" and let them go. Perhaps your father's poem expressed what the rest of us were trying so hard to conceal.
Mar. 18, 2010 4:50 pm
A wonderful story. I am in tears. Thank you for letting us in on your find. Your father is looking down on you with so much love.
Mar. 18, 2010 5:21 pm
This is truly an amazing story! And how emotional, as well!! I can not even begin to say how awesome I think that was... Wow!
Mar. 18, 2010 5:27 pm
Thank you for sharing your story. It is important to see or hear examples of things working out for folks. I am grateful for your experience and the knowledge that good things are around us. Enjoy your blessings.
Mar. 18, 2010 7:16 pm
All I can say is, amazing! Isn't that an incredible story!!!
Mar. 18, 2010 8:23 pm
Thanks TwinMom- that means a lot!
Mar. 18, 2010 8:23 pm
Thanks for sharing-so glad your story had a very happy ending & how nice of Steve to help you & get all those copies done for you.
Mar. 18, 2010 8:24 pm
Maggi thanks~ I know what you mean about the shock!
Mar. 18, 2010 8:25 pm
Ha! Thanks Sue! That's hilarious! Sure makes the family tree a lot easier!
Mar. 18, 2010 8:28 pm
Rohnda - I know what you mean. Its not even close to the same as any other loss I have ever experienced. It seems to always feel the same, except for every once in a while there is an extremely bad day.
Mar. 18, 2010 8:30 pm
Thanks Mimosa! That is actually the reason I video taped Steve handing in to Griffin and Casey. I was narrating to him where we were and what we were doing. I want him to know what a wonderfully special man his Grandpa was!
Mar. 18, 2010 8:32 pm
CC - you couldn't be more right! I was breathless (which became obvious when I actually snorted while crying trying to talk to the archivist!...embarassing)
Mar. 18, 2010 8:33 pm
Mike - you paint a vivid picture of that day. Thank you for insight!
Mar. 18, 2010 8:35 pm
All of you - I again thank you so much for sharing this with me. Every blog, every bit of news, every experience we share, I am more and more grateful to be a part of this.
Mar. 18, 2010 8:37 pm
Goodeats - I agree. He was such a nice man! He showed sincere happiness. I was touched!
Mar. 19, 2010 3:57 am
what a wonderful story- thank you so much for sharing it with us. I made the mistake of reading your blog while I was at work and didn't know how to explain why I was crying!
Mar. 19, 2010 5:38 am
I have to say that this one cool story! Thanks for sharing it with us!
Mar. 19, 2010 6:03 am
That is an amazing story! I'm so happy you were able to find it! Thanks for sharing!
Mar. 19, 2010 6:24 am
Nothing like starting off the morning with a good cry over a cup of tea!! I am so glad you found your father's poem. I bet bet your heart swelled with pride !!! All the best to you and your family. I swear ever since I started reading blogs on AR I've never cried so many HAPPY tears!!!
Mar. 19, 2010 8:15 am
Suzanne - That's what Olivia said too! LOL! She let them chalk it up to being hormonal! Haha!
Mar. 19, 2010 8:16 am
Thanks Witchy! I thought so too! I really can't wait for Griffin to be old enough to understand it!
Mar. 19, 2010 8:17 am
THanks Christine!
Mar. 19, 2010 8:21 am
Dragonfly - Thank you! You are so correct about the pride. My father still finds a way to amaze me even after he is gone. I feel very lucky and very blessed to be able to pass on a legacy of importance to my son about his Grandpa. It absolutely breaks my heart that he will not know first hand the type of man his Grandpa was. I will do everything in my power to show him through stories, pictures, and whatever means possible to convey that to him. Thank you so much for caring about my story.
Mar. 19, 2010 8:36 am
What a wonderful, fulfilling story regarding you and your father. Your father would be so proud of your tenacity to find this poem. I would love to be able to read it as your story has touched my heart.
Mar. 19, 2010 7:55 pm
What a loving tribute to your father's legacy, Meagan. My father passed away 29 years ago & I still sometimes get misty-eyed when thinking about him.
Mar. 20, 2010 6:33 am
Hello Meagan, your story has touched my heart as i have a similar story to share with you. My father was a writer too and he passed away several years back.Very few of his books are available in the bookshops and to get all the other books written by him , i will have to go to a university in Hyderabad, Pakistan.It has always seemed difficult to me but your story has inspired me a lot. i am exteremely thankul to you
Mar. 20, 2010 6:51 am
What Joy! I'm sure your father was "up there" pulling for you ... I'm so delighted that you found this piece of him to cherish and treasure, and pass on. Blessings to you.
Mar. 20, 2010 7:03 am
Your story brought tears to my eyes. I am so happy for you and I know your Dad would be so proud you cared enough to even try to find it. PTL, you found the poem and all the joy and satisfaction is worth all your searching. Wonderful!!
Mar. 20, 2010 8:28 am
What an amazing story. I would love to read the poem and the letter. To be able to hold in your hands and treasure his actual hand writing is such a blessing.
Mar. 20, 2010 8:57 am
Families are linked eternally,, I think there was some divine love involved my dear! Congratulations! What a wonderful story!
Mar. 20, 2010 9:01 am
Great story to share with us and your family. Thank you. It validates the importance of actually writing letters. I can't remember the last time I put pen to paper except to pay bills. Maybe we should all aim to do that more often to leave pieces of ourselves for the next generation.
Mar. 20, 2010 9:08 am
Now my nose is all stuffy from crying. Such a wonderful keepsake to have of your Dads! God bless you!
Mar. 20, 2010 9:14 am
Wow! This gave me chills and tears!I know how important it is to keep connections with Dad's that we have loved and lost. After losing my Dad, I contacted the group from the USS Bushnell the subtender that my Dad served on during World War II. I received so many replies from men who had served with Dad. Even from the ship's baker!(Dad always said he loved the food on ship!)The folks from the Bushnell placed Daddy on "Eternal Patrol". God, how much I miss him. Thank you for sharing your story-I just loved it!
Mar. 20, 2010 10:39 am
You mentioned "HAYES" was your father's High School? If he was from the Bronx, in New York City, that would have been Cardinal Hayes High school, on the Grand Concourse. I believe this school is still in existence.
Mar. 20, 2010 12:23 pm
Chef-O, our dad actually went to Bishop Hayes Catholic School here in SE Iowa. The school still exists (my boys go there) but they got a little too ambitious with some cleaning, so the plaque isn't there anymore.
Mar. 20, 2010 12:35 pm
Thanks for the story.
Mar. 20, 2010 1:05 pm
As one of the people who is old enough to remember that terrible day, I thank you for this very moving story. The special quality of your father's letter must have caught some archivist's eye, so that it was stored and not thrown away.
Mar. 20, 2010 1:38 pm
Wonderful story.
Mar. 20, 2010 1:46 pm
Meher - I hope with all my heart that you find what you are looking for! It is possible!
Mar. 20, 2010 1:49 pm
SoCal Mom - That is wonderful. My father, brother in law and husband have shown me just how important the bond is between them and the men they served with. God Bless your Dad for his service to our country!
Mar. 20, 2010 1:53 pm
Daisyland - I couldn't agree more. This will definitely make me more conscious of my own writings and preserving them for my own children.
Mar. 20, 2010 1:55 pm
Chef-O what CP says is true. Unfortunately the plaque is long gone, along with the old graduation pictures, and basically anything they had from long ago. I can't imagine why anyone would have made the decision to get rid of the things they did...
Mar. 20, 2010 2:00 pm
I just want to thank you all again for sharing this with me. I hope you all encounter such wonderfully meaning experiences this year! For me this was something to lesson the distance from my father, even if nothing can lessen the feeling of loss from his, all to early, departure. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your shared tears and joy.
Mar. 20, 2010 4:21 pm
What a blessing for you, and what a legacy for your family! I remember that day in November '63, I was 8 years old. We were let out of school early, and I was happy until I got home and saw my mom crying by the TV. She explained it all to me, and I remember those 3 days unfolding on that tiny black & white TV...thanks for the uplifting and inspiring story! *tink*
Mar. 20, 2010 5:22 pm
Oh my. I'm sitting here in tears. Joyful for you and your family, missing my own father, a WWII vet who was so proud when JFK was elected and absolutely devastated by his death. I remember that day so clearly. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story.
Mar. 20, 2010 5:51 pm
Tink & Bigshotsmom - I can't even imagine. What a different time that was. I can't even picture a day when our country would so soulfully mourn the loss of a president. Definitely a different way of life then what we live today. While searching for my father's letter, I read many others. It was truly heart wrenching. The whole nation, and even world, seemed to be inconsolable over the great loss. One of the letters was from the Canadian leader (not sure what that title is). It was in beautiful calligraphy on large parchment paper. They included a verse written especially for Jackie. It was an amazing experience to be able to read all those thoughtful heart felt words.
Mar. 20, 2010 6:36 pm
That is just so wonderful and moving. What an incredible connection for your family. We never know how meaningful our documents will be to our descendants. I well remember Kennedy's assassination and the trauma. Oddly enough, letters were saved from Pres. Garfield's assassination in the 1880s, and I found my 2 Greats-grandfather's letter in the archives.
Mar. 20, 2010 6:40 pm
Meagan...thank you soooo much for sharing that wonderful story with us...I am moved beyond words!
Mar. 20, 2010 7:28 pm
Thank you for sharing. Your story brought a tear to my eye. Ironically I read it on the anniversary of my Dad's death. I'm glad to hear that you got copies of the letter, poem and even the envelope.
Mar. 20, 2010 7:29 pm
Buckeye! That is fantastic! WOW! As much of a time warp as the 60's is for me, I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to read the words your great grandfathers wrote in the 1800's! That is truly amazing that you were able to find them! Thank YOU for sharing!
Mar. 20, 2010 7:30 pm
Thank you Eake!
Mar. 20, 2010 7:33 pm
Andee - I am sorry for your loss. The thing is, no matter how many years from now down the road, I don't think my father's absence will get easier. I think I will always long to share important moments with him. Honestly, I assume it will get harder as my son gets older and does more things that I will wish my dad could have been there for. I hope your day is filled with happy memories rather than tearful laments. Thank you for reading my story.
Mar. 21, 2010 5:11 am
This was incredably moving. I have lived in New England my entire life, no more than an hour away from Boston. I have never been to the JFK museum. This makes me want to go visit it soon. PS: Were you able to take the letter home with you or at least a copy?
Mar. 21, 2010 6:51 am
Jan - Steve actually made 3 color copies of the letter, poems and envelope for me. He was such a nice man. The original, however, is still in the archives.
Mar. 21, 2010 7:04 am
What a wonderful story Meagan. Just reading it gave me chills. Thanks for sharing. Your dad must surely be smiling down on his girl.
Mar. 21, 2010 8:00 am
Thank You for sharing your story, it brought tears to my eyes. What an incredible thing to pass onto your son.
Mar. 21, 2010 9:14 am
What a wonderful story. Perhaps you could share the poem with us in your blog.
Mar. 21, 2010 9:53 am
Wow! What a breathtaking read!! Thank you for publishing this for others to benefit from! I got chills!
Mar. 21, 2010 9:55 am
What an incredible experience. I'm so happy you found his letter!
Mar. 21, 2010 11:23 am
What an awesome and inspiring story this is! Truly it was meant for you to find that letter. I believe your father was there to see it and had a hand in you finding so quickly. Not many know this on here but my dad died in '97 (once a Marine, always a Marine) and I miss him terribly everyday. Your blog made me smile and think of him. Thank you for such a beautiful story
Mar. 21, 2010 11:34 am
What a great story! Thank you for sharing. Being from Texas, I will never forget where I was when President Kennedy was shot. Again, so glad you found it.
Victoria's Whimseys 
Mar. 21, 2010 11:55 am
What an awesome story! Thank you for sharing. I have tears in my eyes as well! I think your father has been with you all along. What a blessing to find.
Mar. 21, 2010 11:39 pm
What a wonderful tribute to your father. Thank you for sharing your experience with all of us. I would love to read the poem.
Mar. 22, 2010 4:09 am
Amazing! (Yep, I, too, am crying!) I totally understand why it was so important for you to find this document. Congratulations!
Mar. 22, 2010 6:50 am
Thanks for sharing that. Tears falling here as well. Finding that letter like that is for sure your daddy reaching down from Heaven and giving you a big hug. Thanks again for sharing.
Mar. 22, 2010 7:21 am
Tears flooded my table as I read your beautiful story. Would you be kind enough to share your Dad's writings with us? My Dad passed 27 years ago and there isn't a day that I don't think of him. I'll see his handwriting on old recipes in my recipe box and all those loving memories begin to replay in my mind. Thank you for sharing your story.
Mar. 22, 2010 7:34 am
Thanks for writing this blog. What a wonderful and unusual story, a good tribute to your father.
Mar. 22, 2010 12:17 pm
Wow! I was 10 years old when The Kennedys moved into the White House. I idolized them, and started collecting anything I could find. Today,I have boxes and boxes of Kennedy memorabilia. I too,wrote a condolence letter to Jackie. I visited the JFK Library, looking for my letter, but was told they were "boxed" away. I had told my children about my letter, and how it was in the library. I never saw my letter,but I am so happy for you.
Mar. 22, 2010 12:42 pm
PEGRAD - if you contact the main research room you can set up a date to go in and look through the archives for your letter. There really are a ton of boxes though. 30 I believe. And there is no rhyme or reason to how they stored them other than the first 2 that I mentioned in my blog.
Mar. 22, 2010 12:43 pm
Thank you everyone for your tears and your enthusiasm!
Mar. 22, 2010 1:16 pm
Hello from Canada!! Here I was just sitting in my kitchen scanning recipes and saw this blog on the side of the page. I am so glad I read it! It made my day! This is definitely a "never give up" story!!
Mar. 22, 2010 2:10 pm
Thanks HappyMom! It made my day too! ;-)
Mar. 22, 2010 3:30 pm
What a beautiful story. I am so happy for you.
Mar. 22, 2010 6:32 pm
What a wonderful story! I would love to read the poem and the letter. Are you going to submit it somewhere else?
Mar. 22, 2010 7:31 pm
Meagan, that is a wonderful and beautiful story. Thank you so much for writing it for so many of us to enjoy. Many blessings to you and yours.
Mar. 22, 2010 7:59 pm
Cookie - Thank you. I noted an excerpt from the letter in one of my comments. I think I am going to keep the poems for me and my family though. Sorry to disappoint! I know...I'm greedy! :-)
Mar. 23, 2010 5:30 am
Meagan, it was wonderful to read how you looked for - and found - your father's letter! How very special! I lost my beloved Daddy 15 years ago. Sometimes the weight of that burden is impossible to carry, even after all this time. But remembering him - knowing what kind of man he was, and his beautiful example of how a life should be lived is so inspiring. And I know just how you feel, seeing your father's handwriting again, and bursting into tears. It's the presence of something so simple, but so REAL, that always reduces me to tears too. Especially handwriting, it's so incredibly PERSONAL. While it's always a reminder that he's gone, it's also a reminder that he was here, and how blessed we were to know him. May God keep your sailor safe, and you keep the home fires burning . . .
Mar. 23, 2010 5:48 am
Miss - That was a very touching comment. I am sorry for your loss as well. It really does sound like you know how I feel. I can't seem to fathom a time will come when losing him will seem less sorrowful. You couldn't be more right about the handwriting, it really is such a powerful thing. I think it is because I am hearing his words. Not someone telling a story of a conversation. But he is saying it. It's the closest thing I will ever have to hearing his voice again (other than old home videos). But these were words I hadn't ever heard before. A story of his that I didn't know all the details of. When he told me about this, it was already 40 years after the fact. It was surreal. Thank you so much for commenting!
Mar. 23, 2010 5:54 am
How wonderful that you were able to find it so quickly. Thanks for sharing.
cooking with wanda 
Mar. 23, 2010 6:54 am
This was so meaningful to those of us who have lost our fathers. Mine was a WWII veteran and I miss him more each day. Thanks for sharing.
Mar. 23, 2010 7:00 am
this made my day :)
Mar. 23, 2010 10:31 am
Wonderful story and what a nice way to start my day! I'm so glad you found the letter and thanks for sharing. You brought a tear to my eyes too!
Mar. 23, 2010 3:09 pm
So very thrilled for you. What a remarkable remembrance to have been actually able to hold in your hands. Those were very emotional days for our country. What a memorable thing for you to have accomplished.
Mar. 23, 2010 3:14 pm
beautiful story...sniff, sniff...Thank you for sharing it with us!
Marj L 
Mar. 23, 2010 9:19 pm
After using 'Fitzgerald' in our son's name back in 1966 (after JFK) I couldn't help but stop and read this remarkable story. How 'special' for you. Many thanks from Down-Under Australia
Mar. 24, 2010 5:46 am
**sitting in my cube, boohooing** Meagan, I'm so happy for you. You should send this to your dad's hometown newspaper.
Mar. 24, 2010 5:46 am
Or even to STARS & STRIPES.
Mar. 24, 2010 7:18 am
What an absolutely wonderful experience for you. As a writer, and lover of history, I truly enjoyed reading your experience and memories. Thank you for sharing the excerpt from his letter, and thank you for keeping the rest between your family and the Kennedys, just the way it should be.
Mar. 24, 2010 8:04 am
I am sorry that I am late to the party here. What an amazing story! I am crying my eyes out as I am writing to you. Your dad must have been a ppretty special person to have a daughter like you!
Mar. 24, 2010 8:24 am
Thank you for sharing this touching experience with us. Many times we can continue to find our loved ones in various ways even after they leave us.
Mar. 24, 2010 10:41 am
How wonderfully moving! I am so happy for you. Much of my working hours includes promoting historic preservation (i.e. www.kansasofolde.com... The personal and family connections to historic events and places may sound dry, but here again I am reminded that they are so very meaningful.
Mar. 24, 2010 11:03 am
You really got me. I cried like a baby reading your amazing story. I think you were meant to find that poem. I think this is an incredible example of the benefits of being open to all possibilities. Against great odds, you found what you were seeking. There are no coincidences!
Mar. 24, 2010 11:55 am
I just started reading the book "Letters to Jackie." It is a fantastic recollection of how Americans felt the day the President was assinated. I would defnitely recommend the book!! Great story...thanks for sharing!!
Mar. 24, 2010 1:10 pm
Thank-you very much for sharing this wonderful story with us !!!!!
Mar. 24, 2010 2:13 pm
i'm in tears too. thank you for sharing on this forum. how wonderful it would be for me to find a little piece of my lost father. congratulations and good work!
Mar. 24, 2010 6:34 pm
I keep coming back to this to read it again. I find it incredibly compelling.
Mar. 24, 2010 8:50 pm
Thank you all. I am amazed every time I come back to this page. You all are such caring people. I feel so blessed to be a part of a community of such wonderful people. I think we all need to start our own city! What a wonderful place to live! You have all helped to validate the importance of this to me. It's funny, some of my own friends (in the real world vs. the online world) don't understand the weight this carried with me. But I am lucky enough to have all of you to read, understand, and be supportive of something, I feel, is of the utmost importance. I really can't thank you enough!
Mar. 24, 2010 10:17 pm
Reading your blog post brings tears and so many memories of the death of President John F Kennedy. I wrote a letter to him when he was elected and he sent a personal letter back to me which I still have and proudly display. I was 12 years old when he he was killed, and wrote a poem as did my Dad when he read mine. We never sent them to anyone but we always had a connection to those days after we lost a great man. I sent a letter to Jackie Kennedy and she sent one back although it wasn't personally from her. I am very happy for you that you found what you were looking for. It brought back fond memories of my Dad also.
Mar. 25, 2010 1:11 am
I just wanted to add my sentiments to so many others. I just happened to see your blog on the side bar and stopped to read it. I,too,shed tears as I read such an incredible story, to have such huge odds against finding such a precious letter in the millions of pieces of mail which were sent at that awful time. I was a young Navy wife living in San Diego, Ca. at home with my little baby boy, when my neighbor came running up to my door and breathlessly asked if I had my tv on. She said hers didn't work and she had just heard the President had been shot. We both sat glued to the tv for the rest of the day, crying like everyone else. I was only 22 years old and this was the most horrendous thing I had ever been through. No one in our neighborhood(which was mostly Navy families) could believe any of it. To think that your father's letter, out of millions of letters sent was read and even answered by Mrs. Kennedy is just amazing. I had read that she said she vowed to try to answer every piece of mail that she received, eventually. I believe now that she certainly tried. I do believe the hand of God and your dear father had their hands in helping you find that wonderful link to your dad. I also lost my dear father in 1983 and I miss him every day. When Pearl Harbor was bombed, my mother was pregnant with me, but my dad rushed to the nearest recruiting station with the rest of the men in the small town they lived in, to enlist. He was so unhappy, my mother said, that his ears and eyes were too bad to be accepted for the army, but she was secretly relieved. She would have him at home when I was born. Not so for so many other brave men who fought and died. We owe them all so much, and to your father also. God bless you for sharing this story. I read it to my husband, who was also amazed at the ease that you found your letter. As someone else said, there are no coincidences. Thank you.
Mar. 25, 2010 1:43 am
Okay...tears streaming at 3:40 AM in Texas :) Awesome story. Readers Digest? Guidepost?? Fox News?? You have to do some thing with this wonderful story!!!!
Mar. 25, 2010 3:38 am
Mar. 25, 2010 9:05 am
What a lovely and moving story. Thank you so much for sharing it. I've always been a huge Jackie Kennedy fan, and am certainly glad I read this. Congratulations, and thank you again for sharing this wonderful story. Your dad would be so pleased and proud.
Mar. 25, 2010 12:59 pm
omg i loved the story can u email me it I would love to hear ur fathers poetic words!
Mar. 25, 2010 1:00 pm
I just lost my fav grandfather and he was in the us navy! its fun to read his mail to my grandmother. (exciting isnt it!)
Mar. 25, 2010 4:43 pm
Beautiful and very loving. Write it all down for your childrena nd grandchildren. I had heard of the collection and just recently heard about the book. YOu now need to write one for your own children and their children. Start back with your dad, then the military then the loss of Prsident Kennedy. My good Lord, I can still see Mrs. Kennedy, such a tower os srength. I also have a true affection for the Kennedy family. I know of no other family who has given America so much just because they wanted to help and make things better for others. Write it all down for your coming generations. It is truly something to be proud of and to have the honor of passing it on. Write the book, it must be saved for your fathers future gnerations.
shafaat khan 
Mar. 25, 2010 5:08 pm
Thank you for sharing such a tenderly touching personal story.It is only the very blessed who have happy family bonds and sure enough you are a happily married person and centre of love by all other members of the family.May God bless you and your family.
Mar. 26, 2010 3:16 am
Thank you for sharing your story. Tears are in my eyes as I type this but I am so happy for you. How great it was that your husband and son were able to share this memorable occasion with you! Your Dad guided you through those boxes :)
Jul. 16, 2010 11:24 am
That made me cry, I am so glad you found the letter, thanks so much for sharing with us.
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About Me
I am proud mother of 1 amazing boy, and wife to a sailor, whom I am extremely grateful for. My family is the most important thing in my simple little world. And my favorite way to show them is with food! :-)
My favorite things to cook
I love to bake! Anything and everything! If you challenge me, I can't stop trying until mine is the best you have EVER had! LOL!
My favorite family cooking traditions
On Thanksgiving we have such a wide array of food. Each one of my (5) sisters (and myself) prepares different sides and desserts. We end up with the most amazing selection of classic and new dishes. Every year is treat for the taste buds! My poor mother though, gets to cater to all of these girls with the potatoes. Some of us like them creamy, some lumpy, and I like mine sweet with hamburger gravy!
My cooking triumphs
My sister challenged me to make the best Coconut Cream Pie she had ever had. She is extremely picky, and brutally honest. Much to my pleasure, it was a SUCCESS!!!
My cooking tragedies
Haha! My very first crock pot meal. You would think that would have been easy enough...but no. It was a chicken and veggie casserole type dish. The chicken was dry, the veggies were soggy, and the rest was like water! Oh how far I've come with the crock pot! :-)
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