In 1942, the world was at war, and families around the globe were missing loved ones as they celebrated Christmas. The following letter was written by my grandfather, Dr.Arthur Richardson Brown to his children, A.G., Margaret, Eleanor, George and Ruth ....
Christmas Eve, 1942
My Dear Children,
It is Christmas Eve. The house is quiet. No excited voices, no pattering feet disturb our rest. And yet---there are six of you, little Bena Mae in her snow shrouded rest in Saskatoon, Ruth somewhere at home, George in England in the brave garb of the Seaforths, Eleanor cheering her navy lad in Halifax, Margaret in Toronto bearing with fortitude the denial of her heart’s desire but encouraging herbrilliant young husband in public service, and our first born A.G. at Ottawa for his first Christmas with Mabel using his fine mind in war research---six whose tiny clinging fingers are forever clasped about our hearts, six whose shining eyes have lighted our many Christmas trees with the “light that never was on land or sea”, six whose echoing laughter still trembles softly on the drums of memory, six gifts of life and charm and hope and love which your beloved mother cradled in her affection and fed with her body and sustained with her unselfish soul. Six of you, six miracles, six demonstrations to prove that love is the secret of the good life, that love is life.
And so despite the miles and miles of lonely prairie, of dark forbidding forest, of weary wastes of water which separates us tonight we are joined in spirit about this family tree and your mother and I once again marvel in the glories and mysteries of life, once again catch the murmuring music of the spheres; for love reaches through and beyond all barriers of space and time; we reach our arms about you, feel “our life’s glow” and watch the twinkling lights of yet another Christmas.
If there is one gift we prize above all others it is the love of our children; if there is one gift we bestow more gladly than all others it is our love for our children; if there is one message we would have them accept and ponder more deeply than all others it is that love is the secret of the good life, that without love there is no meaning in Christmas or living or philosophy, or systems of government or economics or dreams for a new and better world.Knowledge gives us law and order and system and the mechanics of progress, but love is what dreams are made of, the stuff of nobility and worth, the warming stream which feeds our lives and brings them to fruition in truth and beauty and purpose.
And so my children, on this Christmas Eve, your mother and I once again tender you our gift of love. May it warm your hearts, enlighten your minds, inspire your souls, and direct your steps along the paths of fruitful and happy living. And we thank you for the privilege of being your parents, for the joy you have given us, for the inspiration you have been to us, for the proof you have given that life is good and that all’s right with this world.
With all our love,
Dad and Mother
All of the people in this letter, with the exception of Ruth,
who is now in her 80's, are gone,
but my Grandfather's words still ring true,
and the greatest gift of all is still Love.
This Hoya started out at my Grandmother's home, and has since been divided and shared. It's at least 35years old, and has blossomed continually since I received my slip two years ago...including this blossom which I just noticed today.