As we celebrate the release of the audio version of Love Letters from Heaven, beautifully narrated by Sharon Cline, I thought I would share part of the inspiration behind the story with a couple of examples. Keep in mind though, I have more! Lots more...
Though the men laughed, they must’ve taken him seriously, for later that afternoon, when an unexpected battle presented itself, the men asked the Captain to give him a duty elsewhere. The Captain, having a fondness for the private as well, complied. However, George would have none of it. “I came here to do my duty and although I know I shall be killed I shall go in,” he said.
Alongside his comrades George proceeded to climb the mountain. Fighting was intense. About half-way up, he was struck by a bullet. Just as he said, the bullet took his life.
And then we have William St Leger, a lieutenant serving with the 2nd Coldstream Guards during World War I. He had two dreams that foretold his impending death. In one dream he saw himself mingling with the officers and men of his regiment who had been killed. In the second dream he was struggling in hand to hand combat with a very large and overpowering German soldier. As he awoke he had the impression he would not live past the spring. He died at the battle of the Lys in the spring of the following year.
My Uncle Robert Buskirk served his country during World War II. There were many stories told of men in his regiment who knew they wouldn’t be coming home. One in particular was a young man by the name of Private Forbes. One day, just behind enemy lines, they were tasked with digging yet another foxhole. He asked one of his companions in another squad if they could swap places for the night. “I’d be glad too, he said, “as long as the lieutenant gives us permission.”
As the day wore on, the lieutenant had failed to return from a previous duty. When Forbes’ companion alerted him of this fact, Forbes simply shrugged. He said not to worry, that is was okay and just to forget about asking for the favor. “It’s not going to matter if I’m in your foxhole or mine. I’m not going to live through the night,” he said. He didn’t.
There are many such stories out there and each one tugs at the heart. In my latest novel, Love Letters from Heaven, our ghostly hero, Sergeant William Malloy Griffin, also knew he wouldn't come home from his service during World War II. This, of course, is going to make it all the more difficult for him to win his very mortal soul mate...
So, do you think soldiers who are destined to die on the battlefield are given some kind of advanced notice? Let me know what you think! I'd love to hear it.