The Tea Time Apron
I lost my dad in WWII when I was 18 mos. old. He was on the ship (USS Indianapolis) that delivered the parts of the atomic bomb to the Mariana Islands which later was dropped on Japan. The ship left and was traveling across the Pacific Ocean when it was torpedoed by the last sub in the Japanese navy. In 12 minutes the ship which carried 1200 men listed and sunk into the ocean. About 800 men made it to the water but no rescue occurred until 5 days later. Men were in small groups scattered over the sea. Sharks came, men went crazy and drank seawater. About 200 men were rescued from this. My dad never made it back. My mother was a widow at age 27 with 2 kids. I tell you this now because my mother was both a mom and father to me. A wonderful role model – put herself through college – even got her Masters in Music Ed. from Northwestern University! I guess I wanted to share that with you because the mystery of my dad`s death always haunted me. And after 33 years, I still miss my mother! She died in 1978 from endometrial cancer. That is why I went into hospice. I had an epiphany at her bedside and 33 years later, I am still a hospice nurse.
I lovingly give you the apron of the ladies sipping tea—“time for tea.” It was the summer of 1954. My mother was newly married and she and her husband were on the way for their honeymoon to the Black Hills. I had been dropped off at my grandfather’s home. My mother had brought this apron as a project for me to do. I remember sitting on the sofa and laboriously embroidering this apron. I gave it to my mom and she proudly wore this on holidays. I am delighted to pass this on to you.
Donna Cadwallader Miller VUSN’66