3 hours ago
Her name was Hedy and she was 82 when I met her 14 years ago.
Born into an aristocratic family in France, she was separated from her parents and sent to a convent. She joined the French Resistance during WWII and carved the Cross of Lorraine on her shin to identify herself during her dangerous nightly bike rides to distribute flyers.
She changed bandages from the burned faces of British Naval Troops who had been bombed. Fluent in 4 languages, she served as an interpreter for the military during the occupation in Paris & helped distract the Germans so Molotov cocktails could be thrown at the tanks. When her village was bombed, she walked miles for help with her ankle bone split in two.
After the war, she met an American soldier and married in Paris, at the famous L'Église de la Madeleine, while wearing a wedding gown & veil made of parachute silk. She departed for the U.S. as a war bride on the last military ship leaving France in 1946. She became an American citizen, a beautician, and then a Polish interpreter for the local court system.
When I met her, she liked driving her old blue Ford Escort to the market & church and preferred stories only about her beloved family & their travels around the world.
She collected matchbooks during her travels. One day, she packed them up and gave them all to me. That 2nd photo shows what she said to me that day.
Special thanks to @oh_what_a_match for inspiring me to tell her story today.
A few year ago, she succumbed to Alzheimer's and these memories suddenly no longer belonged to her, but instead to all of us. Those of us who knew & cherished her. In her memory, I continue adding to her collection.🔥✨
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