Thursday, October 20, 2011

Perry, dear heart, your words of love will always thrill me

January 22, 1945 (Monday evening)

My Sweetheart Husband,

Something quite strange has happened. Tonight Betty, the nurse who lives up by the roof, came to our door and told us she saw a lot of mail downstairs behind the desk and a lot of letters addressed to me. Oh Perry, I knew they were from you. I ran downstairs and rang the buzzer to tell the lady. She came out and I told her about the mail Betty saw. She looked down and there it was--a lot of letters and things down in a corner near the floor. No one will ever know how long they had been collecting there. It was only by accident that Betty happened to see them there.

She has been anxiously looking for a letter from her boyfriend who is a marine somewhere in the South Pacific (like you, sweetheart). Well darling, among all those letters and things were these 4 sweet, wonderful letters from you, darling. Your letters of the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th postmarked the 8th, 11th, 11th, and 12th. Well, it was such a shock and such a joy after disappointment of not having heard and not knowing why that I took them and went running and sobbing up the stairs to the apartment and was so excited I could hardly open them.

Oh Perry, my dearest, don't ever stop writing, Don't ever stop telling me you love me. Don't you know I long for those words from you. Darling, I shall never tire of having you express your love. Perry, dear heart, your words of love will always thrill me even as they did when you first spoke them to me. Please, please, darling, forgive me for writing you the way I did in my letter of the 17th or 18th. I'm afraid I was awfully harsh and not at all pleasant but very blue, trying to understand why I hadn't heard from you from your letter of the 3rd to your letter of the 15th which I received last Friday, January 18th. All of these letters which were found tonight explains it in full.

Sweetheart, you are so good to me and so considerate. I pray that I might ever be worthy of it all. I pray that I might not ever be a disappointment to you, Perry. Darling, I know you must have been in Hawaii though you do not speak of it. (I know you can't.) I do wish you were able to tell me about it. The pictures, are they of the temple? Did you get to see it? Were you able to go through the temple after all? I had hoped you could, for you had the recommend.

Oh, Perry, your schedule will keep you very busy I think, but I'm so glad to know you do have time for yourself. I'm so glad you will be able to read and study and take that course. I'm so proud of you, dearest, and I love you so much.

I received your December 1944 bond ($25) today, Perry. I didn't know you were buying bonds too or else I had forgotten. Well, darling, we can really save our money I see. I don't want to brag, but I think we are quite an economical couple. Perry, are you going to send your tithing money directly to the ward? I could take care of it for you, you know. Is there anything I could send that you might need, Perry? Soap, hankies, stationery, or anything? Please tell me if you want or need anything and I'll send it to you. I send you my love and all of my kisses, dearest. They are all yours. You have all of my love, dear heart.
June 8, 1947, baby Linda with her
grandmother, Leora Fast

Yes, darling, you were right about "knowing the score." We won't be having a child this time. That will have to wait too. I had hoped that it would happen, but the Lord knows best. Why were you so sure, Perry, that there would be no child this time? Oh, Perry, mother had a dream the other night. she said she saw our child--a beautiful little girl. She was with you but asking for "mama" and looked much like me when I was little. Wasn't that an interesting dream.

Perry, thank you for the pictures. I shall put them in the new album with space for you to fill in dates, places, etc. I thank the dear Lord that I have all of your letters now and pray that you will receive all of mine safely. Perry, I just love the birthday gift--that lovely perfume you sent me. I really treasure it cause it's from my love. I think you have such good taste, Perry. I like your selections of things. I love my rings. I'm so proud of them. Oh, I'm so proud of my darling husband. All my love and kisses, your own wife, Gene.

January 23, 1945

Dearest Husband Perry,

No letter today from my true love, but I know he writes me often. It's comforting to know that. Perry, I love you so and more and more all the time. I've been reading your letters over and over today. Oh, darling, I love your letters. Perry, you needn't worry about your writing. You write a very good hand, have a very exceptional vocabulary and express yourself clearly and are a very interesting correspondent. And darling, you may find it difficult at times to keep up a conversation, but I am so proud of the way you visit and converse with my folks (so at ease) and with people we don't know so well. Your manners are so perfect. You always know (or seem to) what to say and do. You know it's pretty wonderful having a husband that's so good and so handsome that even your relatives and friends brag about.

You may not believe it, Perry, but the ladies in my office are forever telling me what a good-looking man I got and how lucky I am. You know, they have met Alden now too, and some of them said to me, "Your husband is much more handsome than Evelyn's boyfriend." Gee, they've kind of "catty." Then I have to stick up for Evie and Alden, ha, ha.

I was so tired last night I couldn't finish. Evelyn called me late last night from Alden's. They are both so happy and excited. I reminds me of the week we were married, darling, when we were so busy buzzing around preparing for Friday. They are leaving tomorrow evening for Arizona (Mesa). She is buying new clothes and things today. She came into the office this morning to say goodbye to everyone and collect her pay. She has her engagement ring. It's very pretty--a little white gold ring--a bit smaller than mine. She is so proud of it. They will be in Arizona about a month and then come back here to live.

We had a letter from Dick yesterday and one from Pierce too. Pierce says it is very cold in Holland. Said he dreamed one night that he was back here in California and had an awful sunburn. That sure made Daddy laugh. Guess I'll have to write him and tell him how warm it is where you are and that you are getting a good suntan. Guess it's pretty warm where Dick is too.

Yes, darling, Mother and Daddy are both fine. Daddy's stomach is ok now and he is eating much better again. He still watches his diet tho. Virginia is still in San Diego and think she may stay there now. Don't think she married Dick after all. She wrote us a card but didn't go into any detail to tell us anything.

Do you get the war news, Perry? Guess Russia will soon be in Berlin, Germany. They are only about 100 miles away. I hope that means the end of the war soon. I pray for it to end every day. My dearest Perry, I hope you are well and hope you get all my letters too. Do you hear from your folks and your sisters regularly? I love you, my husband. Hope I get a letter from you today. God bless you, your devoted wife, Gene.

January 24, 1945

My Darling Wife,

Your letters have the most stimulating effect upon me. I received four of the sweetest letters today from you besides two from Logan and one from home. I guess I have been sorta slack in letter writing the last few days. It was so long without getting any mail, and I didn't have much to write about without revealing how blue I was becoming. I thought if I couldn't write a good letter, one that would bring you pleasure, consolation and joy in reading, I had best not write at all. Is that the right attitude, my sweetheart? forgive me. I will try to do better hereafter.

But, darling, after reading your sweet letters, I'm afraid it would be hard to control myself to keep from writing to you now the desire is so intense. (I forgot to tell you I received one letter from you yesterday. It was dated the 8th. The others were dated the 11th, 13th, 14th and 15th.) Sweetheart, even though I am far away from you, I love you more and more all the time.

Oh, my darling, I couldn't keep the tears from my eyes when you were telling me about your fasting and praying. I am so thankful to all of you and to my own parents and sisters. I also always make mention of Dick and Pierce in my prayers and pray that the day might be hastened when we can all, all who love peace and righteousness, return to those we love. I love your parents so much. I believe that as Sister Stouffer told me that I could not have married into a better family. It makes me feel rather weak and humble as though I weren't deserving of the faith and prayers of so many fine people. And when I read the letters of such a sweet wife, I cry out in my heart how I love her and offer a silent prayer that I might have the strength to be worthy of her and make her love for me grow even with the eternities.
Perry standing in front of his and Gene's first home in
Provo, Utah, 1946

My darling, I love you even more because of your desire. And the way you put it made me realize more and more how much I love you. It was also what I was inwardly wanting, but I left it in the hands of the Lord and prayed that He would do what was best. And darling, now I am sure it is for the best and please don't be disappointed because we are going yet to have a lot of time together, not only to plan, but to build, when we will no longer be living only for the future, but will be happily living the present.

And now, my love, if you want to know something that really thrills me, it's when you write and ask my opinion about whether or not you should take music lessons, sell your phonograph, etc. Some people probably would call that rather childish, but I guess we all like to be "kidded" along into thinking our opinions are really worth something. With me, though, it is much more than that. You see I haven't had much of a chance as yet to really play the part of a husband. I guess every man has an inborn desire to someday be "the head of his household" and that desire has always been very strong, especially lately, with me. This is as it should be, but when we are so far apart, it makes that rather difficult.
Gene and Perry's first home

However, a home takes in much more than a couple sheltered under one roof. It also means the combined love, hope, faith, and even sorrows and a unity of purpose and spirit for the ultimate good of them and their family. This we have now, and it is this that makes us willing to wait for the time when distance and the circumstances incident to war will no longer separate us.

Sweetheart, I really do want you to take music lessons. It would be good if you could take piano lessons, but you should really have a piano to practice on, and practice really more than you would have time for now, in my opinion, make it worthwhile and pay. Perhaps later when you can have a piano and will not be working. I do, though, think it is a good idea for you to take vocal lessons, especially with the extra practice you will be getting at chorus twice a week. I suggest you try it for at least a month and if you still like it, go on and take lessons for a year or as long as you like, or until I get out of the Navy. Don't think about the cost because if it will increase your self-confidence and consequently your happiness it's value cannot be measured in money. Anyway, I think her price is reasonable.

About the phonograph: that will have to depend on how badly you want it and how much you think you can get out of it. When I buy one, as I promised, it is really going to be a good one so we may have to wait quite a little while for it, and we may want yours until then. What you do, though, will be all right by me.

It made me feel badly about Virginia. I think I can partly realize how it must make her feel, especially after she has already had so many unpleasant experiences, which has almost made her lose all belief in love. Since she met him at church, it's too bad he couldn't have been a different kind to give her at least a pleasant memory of our church.

So Evelyn finally decided to marry Alden. I think it's swell. They'll make a good couple. Only I feel a little bit jealous of them because they are going to the temple and will be able to be together all the time. Oh, well, our time is coming, isn't it?

Well, sweetheart, after looking this over I see I have written quite a lot. I hope it justifies the space it covers and the time it will take you to read it. Darling, my heart yearns for you. I love you so much, your affectionate husband, Perry.

p.s. I'm curious about that little package you are sending. I'll be looking for it.

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