Merriam-Webster defines war bride as the following:
: a woman who marries a serviceman ordered into active service in time of war
: a woman who marries a serviceman especially of a foreign nation met during a time of war
I recently met Chris in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. The lady who introduced us told me right away that Chris was a war bride on the first ship of brides to come over from Europe.
My research shows around 65,000 women married U.S. soldiers during World War II. Our military prepared twenty ships to transport close to 50,000 war brides to the United States.
Chris told us most of the women on her ship were so seasick they couldn't leave their beds. However, she was not affected. She helped care for over thirty of the children traveling with them. She was one of the few passengers who showed up in the dining room for meals, and the servers began to call her Butterfly.
To this day, Chris might remind you of a butterfly. With a smile, she moves from table to table in the dining room at Lakes of Litchfield. At ninety years old, she spreads joy and always has a fun story.
This year Chris turned ninety and fulfilled a desire on her bucket list. While in California, she and one of her granddaughters went to get tattoos. Her granddaughter got one on the back of her shoulder, but Chris wanted to be able to see hers and has it on her arm. In case your curious, they got butterfly tattoos.
Stop by next year when I share what Chris does on her 91st birthday.