Back in January I got an email from someone wanting to know if I was in any way related to another Rev Rolt who lived in Suffolk. Well yes I was. Eric Rolt was my brother in law but had already died when I married his brother.
The next E mail was from a carer who was looking after an old lady who was desperate to get in touch with the Rolt family. Could she ring us? I said she could but as we were at that time in the middle of the South Atlantic it had better wait till we got home.
The call came this week. The old lady was finally connected to my husband who remembered both her and her family well. The conversation was poignant.
The lady had been going out with Eric before he went off to college. They had met a few times and she was certain they would be married eventually. There was a wistful note in her voice at this stage. Then she described their last meeting. He told her that he had been called to be a celibate priest. There was heart ache in this statement heard clearly by both me and my husband.
She is ninety five years old, has never married, taught in various colleges and universities and quite clearly was still in love with her childhood sweet heart.
I shed a tear or two at that and the joy she now had in finally getting in touch with his family again. Her carer says that physically she is weak but the voice was strong...her intelligence shone through..and I am sure she will ring again.
Thanks to modern communications she has been able to resume a connection lost 70 years ago.
My husband is glad too.....it came in a week that he had spent looking through old photos of his family and much reminiscing prior to the wedding we went to at the weekend. There is a satisfying feeling of loose ends being tied up! I am more concerned for the grief in un requited love still sharp for the old lady after all these years.
Its not a single story. That generation born between the wars have often heart rending stories to tell.
Its good to listen to them...we can still learn a lot from them.