Monday, January 31, 2011


My allergy to dust was making me miserable. I was hot, cranky, and hurt a whole lot. Sorting through things (especially when many things are not mine) and trying to get rid of ANY and EVERY thing that we don't absolutely need is my idea of torture. I had been in the process for long, miserable hours at this point.

I picked up yet another box in the parade of endless boxes. In this box was loose paper. I went to just dump it into the trash. After all, if it's not even in a notebook or any type of binder it must be trash.

Three times I went to dump it in the trash. I didn't want to look at it....I just didn't need more STUFF in my world! Three times something stopped me. Finally.....I quit being impatient, frustrated, (I was still allergic), and just started to look at those loose pieces of paper.

WOW....those loosed unbindered pieces of paper were letter that my Papa wrote to my Mother and vice versa during World War II. In those letters my Papa speaks briefly of something that he would rarely speak to me about, what combat meant to him.

I learned about the way that my parents loved each other as they faced a desperate time of life and death. Mama and Papa didn't get married during that time. Mama witnessed too many friends who got married, got pregnant, and then became a widow. She just couldn't bear that thought. Three long, agonizing years they waited, prayed, and hoped.

Mama literally wore through her engagement ring waiting. Nervous, tense beyond bearing she would twirl that ring on her finger. Twirl, twirl, and the soft gold was worn down by the friction. She literally wore through the gold with he nervous twirling.

When Mama would receive a letter from Papa she would put it on the piano in their front room. She would NOT open it until she received another letter from him. Then she would open the older letter and read it. Her logic was that if she received the 2nd letter that meant that he was still alive. She was terrified that she'd read a letter and THEN receive notice that he had died. Somehow the newer letter was a reassurance that he hadn't died yet and she read that first letter, then repeated the ritual.

Their letters were not filled with grim, bitter, horror over the agonies that Papa faced daily. They were optimistic, filled with hopes of the future they would share together. Mama sent Papa a beautiful verse, that he then sent to his family. I will share some of the parts of the letter in this forum.

Our oldest daughter Ardis wrote a paper for one of her classes on their loving letters. Her subject matter was Women during the War. She received a VERY high grade. I can't bear to think of the connection she would have missed had I simply tossed those loose, old, wrinkled pieces of paper in the trash!

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