Sometimes I run out of words. A dire problem for a writer, but gut-wrenching loss will do that to you.
Within the span of a few weeks, two precious people featured in War Bonds: Love Stories From the Greatest Generation have passed away.
First my beloved Marine, Myrt Powers, died. The story of her marriage to sailor, Walt Powers, is featured in chapter 30– and is unusual because both she and her husband served in World War ll. This couple were also featured on the television show Northwest Profiles and shared their story at a local veterans support group, following the book’s publication.
I last saw Myrt in March 2016 when my husband and I ran into her waiting in line for coffee in Hawaii! She and her husband wintered on Oahu for many years.
Feisty, upbeat and absolutely adorable, Myrt is everything I want to be when I grow up. My heart aches for Walt and for all of us who knew and loved her. Though she was tiny, her absence leaves a huge hole.
Cindy Hval with Myrt and Walt Powers, 2015.
And then last week, Jack Rogers died. A lifelong, prolific artist, Rogers taught all four of my sons during his tenure as art teacher at Northwest Christian School.
The story of his courtship and enduring marriage to his wife, Fran, is featured in chapter 20 of War Bonds.
He was still painting up until the last week of his life as he decorated wooden tailgates for Personal Energy Transporters for the PET Project.
In November, I was privileged to cover one of his last art shows.
“I was given a gift and I want to share it,” he said.
And here’s where words fail.
How can I possibly convey the depth of my admiration and love for these people? How do I sum up the gratitude I feel for having been a small part of their lives and for being entrusted to share their stories with the world?
But I can say I will miss them and treasure the memories of the hours spent with Myrt Powers and Jack Rogers.
I hope that I’ve given readers of War Bonds a snapshot of how they made the post World War ll world, a place of hope.
Rest in peace, beloveds, for you have surely earned it.
Jack and Fran Rogers, with Cindy Hval, 2016.