"So she really is our grandmother!" I said looking up from a letter that had just arrived in the post.
It was a month after I had found the suitcase, which was now kept under my bed, Ellie had moved back in, and we were all a little changed in our feelings towards the move, everything was different now.
I have got the £100 from eventually finishing the attic and an extra £100 for being so calm when I was trapped, for what turned out to be two hours, the boys had a great time at the match and have learnt about the rules of basketball and can't wait to learn, it turned out that Clive had family in Apalachicola and he was going to move in with them and for a while so that he could stay with Ellie, as for my parents, they were just relieved that we had all changed our minds about the move.
The minuit my parents had returned home I had shown them the letter and they told me that the had belonged to my father's mother, my father had died when I was born, my mother had remarried her best friend, and had then had my brothers.
I had decided to try and find out if Monica or Barney were still alive, after some intense research however, I discovered that Monica had died some time ago, but I was surprised to see that there was no records of a Barney Benning living in Apalachicola, so I had decided to look up Monica's old best friend Kate and I had found her, she still lives in Hawaii and had retired twenty five years ago. I sent her a letter telling her that I believed that I am the granddaughter of her old best friend and asking her if she could tell me anything about her, I also copied some of the pictures of her and Monica to show that I was serious, she had replied!
"Dear Olivia Stennin
Yes I was best friends with Monica Benning, she saved my life during the attack on Pearl Harbor, had I not listened to her I would have been killed by a bomb that almost hit the hospital. Monica was only eighteen years old at the time, she was born in 1923 in Apalachicola.
Monica was a very beautiful woman, it was no wonder that she had the sailors worshiping her every step, it would always make us laugh. She had very beautiful brown hair that she always tied up, to keep out of her way. She was quite short but very lively and friendly, she was very popular among the nurses. She wasn't very religious, and cared little about religious wars, but even she loathed Hitler and would often be heard talking of him, wishing him nothing but death.
I must admit that Monica often said that if it hadn't been for Barney she would have gone mad, she even sometimes said I helped her.
Monica's mother was also a nurse, she was very friendly and they were very close, she and Monica. Monica's father was English, that was why he was called to work in the RAF, they desperately needed him over there, after that Monica barely ever saw her father, but whenever she had a moment she would send letters to him, the two you spoke of were most likely the last two that she ever sent to him, for you see, after Pearl Harbor, I believe that she had lost hope in his return. Luke was her older brother, he and Monica did not get along at all, they were often fighting, he joined the navy when they movd to Hawaii and was soon afterwards promoted to captain for he was clever and cunning. John was the second brother, he got on with Monica better than Luke did, he was a bit of a rascal because Monica often had to cover for him when he went out with his girlfriend, or to the pub and got drunk. He joined the navy in 1940, but was continuously getting into trouble as he was often fighting with the black volunteers, he never lost a fight, he was extremely strong you see.
Monica and I entered nurse's training in 1936 and qualified in 1940. Monica was always looking for opportunities for she longed for excitment and most of all she wished to travel. We were ordered to go to the Tripler General Hospital in Honolulu. We were later transfered to the New Station Hospital at Hickman Field, which was very near to Pearl Harbor.
Not long after that she met her husband lieutenant Barney Benning, like I said she was very popular among the boys but Barney had always been her favourite. He always made her laugh whenever he admired er "beautiful legs" their shared a brilliant sense of humour, theere was never a dull moment when they were together. They shared many common interests, but their best one was their love of cars, Monica adored cars, because when she was little her father used to take us out for long rides.
I'm afraid to say that Monica's mother had died of breast cancer not long after our arrival in Honolulu, Monica herself died of childbirth during, what sounds like, your father's birth, Barney brought your father up on his own, they moved to England when news of Monica's uncle's bad condition reached them and they stayed to look after him, after his death you father decided to stay in England, where he attended the university of Oxford, Barney decided to return to Hawaii, yes he is still alive, I have told him of you and he is thrilled to think that he still has family, he thought that he had lost everything when news of his son's death reached him, we never knew that he had had children.
I think that it would be nice if you came down here for a visit, he would really like that, I would really like that.
I clutched the letter to my chest, it was not long now until I would finally meet my father's father! I was sad to think that the reason for the meeting is dead, but it made me happy to think that she was reunited with her family in the end.