Friday, 15 August 2014

Mom's Birthday

I'm sure I've mentioned at some point that I have over a hundred letters that my Mom wrote to my Dad during the first year of their marriage in 1944-45. My Dad was sent to Italy about a week after they married and she wrote him - and he her - several times a week if not nearly every day. I don't have my Dad's letters, but they would have been nearly impossible to decipher anyhow.

I have this wishful thought of publishing these letters, if only to be sure Mom is remembered after I'm gone. I know they are full of mush, but they have other surprising details about her life and the times as well. A fantasy idea, I'm sure, but I do plan to scan them to share with my Uncle Pat and type them up just in case...

                                                               Tuesday P.M.
                                                               Nov. 21 - 

Hello My Darling --

     Golly but it seems like years since I've heard from you - I wonder how much longer it will be - I miss you so much Lyle and miss your letters too -

     I've written you a letter almost every day - but haven't mailed them - the only kind I've been able to write wouldn't be the kind to send - I'm sure they wouldn't do a thing for your morale - I've been pretty far down in the dumps Lover - but I feel better now - I went home Sat nite and just got back this a.m. - Gee but I enjoyed it. It was like a tonic - you know - Mother didn't really believe we were married - She still isn't sure - She really tickled me - I told her I'd send the certificate for proof - She took your address - She has a new way to send candy overseas - so is going to make you some -

     While I was home I was going thru some things in my cedar chest and came across all those notes you wrote me and I left in various places - drawers pockets etc - while we were at the Cadillac - Remember? I enjoyed them all over again coming across them unexpectedly that way.  Golly Mr B - I sure do love you -

     Mother sort of outdid herself on my Xmas present - I had to go with her to buy it - a fur coat - a satin robe-bed room shoes to match - 2 boxes of stationery a box of matches with my name on them - How about that - nothing but the coat is a Xmas present - The other stuff she just bought at odd times - Oh yes and she wanted to know which we wanted her and Larry to buy us for Xmas - silver or china or crystal - I'm just leaving it up to her - 

     Rec'd a letter from your Mom today - She writes the sweetest letters - I enjoy them very much - 

     I was sure Lou and Mr Dunn would be quite unhappy with me - for staying in Okie City Mon too - but they didn't seem to be. Mother sent them a qt. of wine back - I think that helped a bit -

     Larry is Staff Commander of 7th Fleet - I wrote you that he was on the Admiral's Staff - didn't I? Mother is quite proud of him -

And so on and so forth... 

The strange thing is that although they were both professional photographers, I have no wedding photo for them. I can follow that, given that it was a JP marriage in Ft. Smith, probably in a hurry before he got shipped abroad. However, there are also no photos of them together. The Christmas card below is the closest I can find. There is one photo of me and my Dad when I was an infant, but none of me and Mom. I find that all very odd.  Perhaps what they say about the cobbler's children having holey shoes and the plumber's faucet leaking is true, eh?

Oh well, this is me wishing my Mom a happy would have been 96th birthday.


sanda said...

How wonderful that you have these letters! You really should publish them. They depict the everyday goings on in an era long gone. You could make an interesting story about what he did while in the war and what she was doing back home. I have letters dad wrote to mother while he was in the CCC and have thought about writing a book around them but so far have only got as far as typing them out. I have too many good ideas but not always best on the carrying out of them.

D A Wolf said...

If this is "mush," Shelley, I for one would adore it, and love seeing letters like these published.

When my mother passed away a few years back, in her attic I found all the letters exchanged between her parents during WWII, when my grandmother was in the US and my grandfather was in the South Pacific. They were such beautiful love letters.

Unfortunately, a relative asked to borrow them (with a promise to make a copy and return them) - I never got them back. Tried for years. Such a loss.

Like I said, I believe these are the sorts of words that many of us would love to read, and what a lovely tribute to your mom.

Shelley said...

Sanda - Well, you've got farther along than I have - Mom's letters aren't even typed! She had beautiful handwriting, it almost seems a shame not to just photocopy them, but typing is a good start, I'm sure.

D.A. - Your encouragement is wonderful!

Sandra said...

I love the picture and love letters...aren't you fortunate to have them. I had a lot my mother had written and they were lost, with suspicion that my Dad destroyed them because the were so "mushy"...that of course was by those old fashioned pretty tame. Love your family history blogs.