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LISTEN TO YOUR HEART

April, 1918

       They hadn't known she was pregnant when Jack was sent with the AEF to fight in France. She had stood on the docks in New York with hundreds of other wives, mothers and girlfriends, all of them waving madly, never dreaming he wouldn't return to her. Not coming back to her was a nightmare; not a dream.
       It must have happened that last night they were together when they turned to each other over and over, clinging desperately until the last minute. At least Lena had clung. In her heart, she knew as the dawn approached, that he was already far away from her, thinking about France and the coming fight.
       He was always a scrapper, her Jack. He figured that once the American's got into the war, the Huns would turn tail and run. He only hoped he would get a chance to fight before it was all over.
       The few letters she received were hastily written in pencil on torn scraps of paper. He talked about training and then trenches and rain and mud and the constant bombardment by the Germans. He was anxious to get into the fight, but that hadn't happened. The English and the French had lost many thousands of troops and were no longer willing to risk a frontal attack.
       Now that the Americans were there, things were different. When the order came to go over the top, Jack had scrambled up the ladder and gone no more than a few yards when a German shell took away his chance for glory.

       Lena had never told Jack he was going to be a father. She was afraid the news would distract him when he needed to focus on staying alive. Now all she could do was wonder if knowing about the baby would have made him more determined to come home; less willing to take chances. It was an agonizing thought that haunted her at night in her lonely bed.

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