ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

War stories Chapter 12

Updated on July 6, 2012
Ruth and baby Johan
Ruth and baby Johan

War Stories - chapter 12. (Hub’s furlough at home.)

We are sitting on the back veranda of the house on the couch with the green cushions that Crene had given Mom for Christmas. The baby is lying in his cot in front of us. Every now and then Hub gets up to look at him. It is as if he cannot get enough of him. ”He looks a bit like your Dad”, he says again and I honestly cannot see the resemblance, so I just smile and nod my head.

The time is flying past at breakneck speed and I am counting the days and hours. The desperate longing of the past 18 months has turned into a peaceful feeling of contentment. This is how it is meant to be with a child and parents, but in my mind I know it cannot last much longer. When Hub has to go to Military Headquarters to deliver messages that he brought from the front I long for his return even as he leaves. I do not want to share him with anyone. On Sunday, when everyone comes for lunch, I long that they will leave so that I can have him to myself; just him, the baby and me. Am I being very selfish? Yes, but that is how I feel.

The house is progressing well and when Hub wants to go and help I forbid it. “Let it be, you will only get in the way and you need to be with us. Let’s go for a walk down to the river.” As we pass the grave of the unnamed baby of Boet and Helen, I notice that Helen has put some flowers on the simple grave. I noticed that she had been crying when, after tea, they left to return to town. My healthy baby must make it even more painful for her and I wonder if she will be pregnant soon. Everyone is hoping so.

News about Jessie in Egypt and Albert in Italy is scarce and we pray every day that they will be safe. So far as a family we have been incredibly lucky as we hear of so many others who are mourning the loss of family members buried in foreign lands. What about Hub going back to Egypt? Recent news is that Rommel is being stopped by South African and British forces in spite of our troops being out numbered, and the Suez Canal, for the moment at least, is safe.

When I ask Hub if he has often been in danger, he just laughs and refuses to give any information, a ploy that the soldiers coming home on leave have been coached in. “Don’t worry my darling”, he tells me, “before you know it the war will be over and I will be back”. While his lips mouth these words of comfort his eyes tell me that he is speaking in hope rather than certainty. He has helped bury too many of his mates in the desert sand, even to convince himself.

The farewell at Pretoria is in sharp contrast to the welcome home of 13 days ago. Now Mom and Dad stand in the background as Hub and I hold on to each other and the baby in a last desperate embrace. The station attendant blows his whistle and waves his flag and the train begins to leave the station. My heart is going with him. All my love combined with joy and fear makes a strange mixture as I wave to him. Will he return soon as he promised or is this the last time I will see him? I try desperately to put these thoughts out of my mind, but they keep jumping back.

On the way back to the farm I weep softly, knowing that I need to be strong for our little boy, but also knowing that I have few reserves to draw on. My parents are silent as they feel the separation with me. The future seems so uncertain!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)