by Amanda Jackson | CNN
Angelina Gonsalves received an unexpected, yet cherished, delivery from the US Postal Service last month – a letter her late husband had written to his mother in 1945 while stationed abroad.
The letter was written by Sgt. John Gonsalves, a 22-year-old army soldier posted in Germany. He was writing to check on his family and to tell his mother that he believed he would be coming home to Massachusetts soon.
The letter, dated December 6, 1945, written several months after World War II ended, would never be made to his mother’s home. But 76 years and three days later, the USPS handed it over to his widow.
“I got to read it and it was wonderful,” Angelina Gonsalves of Woburn, Massachusetts, told CNN on Wednesday. “It’s in really good condition. I myself was surprised by it.”
Angelina and John did not know each other when they wrote that letter. The two were married in 1953 and had five sons. John died in 2015 at the age of 92.
In a two-page letter to his mother, also named Angelina, John discusses the “shoddy” food choices and weather in the bad orb where he was stationed, stating that the sun is not out, but for half a month. is for the day. He closes the letter by sending his love to the family. There is a six cent stamp on the front of the envelope.
Angelina and John’s son, Brian Gonsalves, told CNN: “It was a pleasure to see their faces light up as I read their words.” “To be able to see something read to him and see that history, it’s something he’ll always have.”
So where was the letter hidden for all this time?
That part is unclear, but late last year it was found at the USPS Pittsburgh Processing Center, according to a letter from the USPS that was sent to Angelina with John’s letter.
Center staff recognized the significance of the soldier’s letter and said it was part of a family history, so they began trying to trace John’s kin.
“We are aware of your husband’s passing in 2015 (our condolences),” the USPS letter read. “Based on some dedicated investigative work by postal workers at this facility, we were able to determine your address, so this letter was delivered to you despite a delay of 76 years. Due to the age and importance of your family history, this letter It was extremely important for us to deliver.”
Angelina received the letter on December 9, just before the holidays, which her son described as a nice Christmas present.
“It felt like he was back for the holiday season,” he said.