25th September 1918.
254 Cherry Lane
My Name is Elizabeth Sophia Masen. My husband Edward purchased this type writer 3 weeks ago and it has finally arrived from New York (much to my dismay.) I am to practice my typing skills because he believes that as technology improves I will need these skills. (At the same time I remember that my Edward is a lawyer and not a researcher like Edna Whicker next door…oh, I have gone off upon a tangent, pardon me.) I am to use this type writer for my skills so I may as well introduce you to my life thus far.
I was born Elizabeth Sophia Taylor 5th September 1879 in Boston Massachusetts to Anna and William Taylor. Our family lived in Massachusetts for most of my childhood with many vacations to upper New England and the occasional tour of Europe. I attended St. Elisabeth's All girls Academy in Boston and upon my graduation from such school in the spring of 1898 I ventured to Chicago to visit my elder sister Elisa who had married the winter pass. During my visit I was acquainted with Mr. Edward Andrew Masen of Chicago and following a summer of courtship we were married the following fall.
Edward has studied to be a lawyer and it has been named one of the most prosperous lawyers in the Chicago area. We have one son, my darling Edward Anthony, born 20th June 1901. He was my first child to live past the age of 15 mos., His sister Anna Sophia dying of measles when she was a little over a year and another son, William Andrew age 3 mos., of lung infection. Both deaths left me in a state of heartache. Needless to say that when my beautiful son turned five years old, I was the epitome of a happy mother.
I adore my son and worry with the war when they shall call him to serve in the draft. The walls of St. Thomas Boy's Academy keeps him safe for now, but with his graduation this coming winter I worry greatly and loose much sleep for his account.
"Mother I'm home!" a voice called from the front room down the stairs. "Where are you?"
"Upstairs in the lounge Edward," I replied, happy to end my attempt on the typewriter for the sake of seeing my darling son. I had just taken out the piece of paper when Edward walked through the door.
He stood a little over 6 foot, taller then both his father and myself, it was fortunate that the doors where so tall or he may have needed to bend down upon entering a room. He had some of his father's features in the face, but he looked more like my side of the family then my husband would like to think. His green eyes where bright, looking around the room and sitting on the corner of my daybed. He saw the typewriter and smiled a crooked smile he had inherited from my side of the family.
"I thought you said that you would rather where bloomers then learn to type," he said walking over to the type writer and looking at the few lines that I had just typed.
"Well I did say that but then I saw Rachel Jones the other day sporting bloomers and I decided I'd to it just to Humor your father. That and bloomers aren't that flattering for a woman like me," I explained putting a blanket over the typewriter.
"Mother, I told you not to worry about me and the draft!" Edward exclaimed reading the last line. "Have you really been loosing sleep?"
"Edward its natural for a mother to worry, we've been doing it since the Bible times," I said composed, looking up at my son with worry still flowing in my brain.
"But you don't need to worry, They say the war will be ending soon,"
"But they also say that the war could go longer and more men are needed for the draft. I will not loose you Edward," I said quietly.
"Did you know Quincy Whicker enlisted?" he asked looking over at where I was standing.
Edward has to be one of the most pensive souls I have ever met. Ever since he was a little boy, he's always been known for over thinking things, to consider other's thoughts before he puts words into action, as though by doing so he was seeing how he could use the situation at hand for his benefit and learning.
"Quincy? He's the little boy that played with you! Edna's son?" I couldn't lie, I was flabbergasted. Quincy was only two months older then Edward. "Does Edna know?" I asked trying to be as pensive as Edward.
"I don't know. He enlisted yesterday after school," he replied taking a second look at the paper I had just typed.
I walked from where I was standing next to the typewriter to where Edward sat on the daybed, sitting beside him. "Don't do that to me Edward." I pleaded, wrapping my slender arm around him in a mother's embrace. "Don't do that to me."
He inched a way and took my hand, still pensive as ever. "Don't worry Mother," he said his eyes focused into mine as he promised, "There's not a bullet in the world strong enough to go through me."
"Edward Anthony!" I started as he just kissed the top of my head. "I'm kidding mother," he said, standing up and heading to the grand piano that sat next to my window seat. "Kidding you may but I swear you'll give me a heart attack." I heard the charming sounds of his exercise as I reclined on my daybed, picking up a copy of Sense and Sensibility.
His Grandmother Masen had bought the piano for my husband and I wedding gift. I could play a few classical pieces, the occasional opera song, but nothing as beautiful as Edward's musical abilities. I had always wondered where they came from; it was something out of the ordinary. He had played the piano beautifully ever since he was a young boy and both he and his father knew how much I loved to hear him play Claire de Lune.
I looked up from where I was reading, to see my son. The setting sun of Chicago brushed his face with a warm glow; he looked so serene just patterning with the keys as though it was something he could do in his sleep.
What ever I had done in life to give me such a son, I'll never know but I'm surly lucky I have him.
A knock came from the French style doors. "Come in," I said turning my attention to the door as Edward continued to play. Entering came one of the young maids. She curtsied and entered the room, "Mrs. Masen there is a gentleman at the door inquiring of you," she said politely. As soon as Edward heard he stopped playing. "I'll get it mother," he said standing up walking briskly to the door.
"Edward wait!" I called out as he stopped. "I need you to show Sherrie where the albums are. Your Grandmother Masen has been requesting a picture and I need you to go and take care of everything will you? And don't worry, you're father was expecting someone to come by today. It was Mr. Balckers wasn't it Sherrie, who was at the door," I through a polite smile which she understood met to agree with what I had just said.
"Yes Master Masen, just Mr. Balckers."
Eugene Balckers was a man that Edward could care less for. He was annoying and always slogged to go on about Edward was going to be a great Lawyer just like his father and graduate from Harvard and work in the Senate.
"Alright Mother," he sighed as he left through the back doors of the room to the Library where albums.
I took a deep breath and composed myself, opening the doors and entered the open room with the sweeping stairs. Sherrie had taken him to the tearoom likely, I walked down the cold steps, my shoes clamoring as I made it nervously to the room. Opening the door my heart stopped.
In full uniform stood at attention a United States Solider, with a telegraph in hand.