On December 9th of 2021, 89-year old Angelina Gonsalves received a letter from her husband, John.
Now, here’s the interesting part of the story. John died seven years ago at the age of 92. The letter was sent from Germany when John was serving there right after World War II, and the letter was delivered 76 years late.
Needless to say, Angelina was astonished to get the letter, and despite being three-quarters of a century late, she was happy to see her husband’s handwriting on display and brought back warm memories of the man she was married to for 61 years.
Here’s what she told the Washington Post.
“It sounded just like Johnny. It was a weird feeling — like he was standing there, reading it to me. I smiled when I saw his beautiful handwriting. I always loved how he wrote his E’s.”
The letter was written for John’s mother, and it’s fascinating to get a glimpse at what our incredible World War II soldiers were dealing with after winning the War. He wrote about the lousy weather and food in Germany and was hopeful about returning to the United States in a couple of months. It was dated December 6, 1945, and he had written it from Bad Orb, German, near a Nazi prisoner-of-war camp that American soldiers had liberated.
Now, as for why it was finally delivered 76 years late. The USPS said they didn’t know where it had been for over seven decades, but it arrived at a sorting facility in Pittsburgh and give the Postal Service credit for recognizing it was a very special letter. They worked hard to find Angelina’s current address, and her mail carrier hand-delivered it to her at her front door.
At the time the letter was sent, John Gonsalves had not yet met his future wife, as he and Angelina did not start dating until 1949.
It made for a wonderful Christmas gift for the entire family, as they celebrated this little piece of special family history they could all cherish.