My dearest, darling Anna. I’m writing this on a Sunday night in London. If you’re reading this, then you barely knew me and may have no memory of who I am. I am your mother. You were born in an air raid in the middle of a war to two people who loved each other. Our year together in the house in Hampstead has been the happiest time of my life. Today you took your first steps. I am so grateful that I saw you walk for the first time with your father by my side. Max, my love, you are my world. I hope you will be able to forgive me. And I hope you make it to Medicine Hat. I have a picture of it in my mind, and I pray Anna’s eyes will see it. My beautiful daughter, I love you with all my heart. I hope you will live your life in peace. I rest knowing your father will take good care of you. I remain your loving mother, Marianne Vatan.

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