Thursday, December 8, 2011

I just live from one letter to the next

If Perry could have only known that in 5 short years
he would be the father of three children, I'm sure it
would have brought him a lot of comfort
Feb. 18, 1945

My dear darling wife,

This morning I was discharged from sick bay, at least temporarily. I will probably have my tooth pulled in the morning. I started to write you last night, but my spirits were a little low and thought it best not to write while I was feeling so low, so I got permission to go see the movie. Then last night just before taps, I got two letters, one from Dick and one from you, sweetheart.

I am now finally beginning to get your letters straightened out. The one I received was dated the 18th, the one in which you sorta scold me for not writing more. Doesn't it seem strange that I should receive that letter so late, after all explanations are made and everything is already clear? It almost seems like an act of providence. If I had received it sooner, before your other letter explaining about the missing letters, it would have made me very blue indeed.

As it is, I loved the letter very much because I know you feel the same way I do when I don't hear from you for quite a while. Darling, you still may be missing some of my letters because I have tried to write you nearly every day except when it was impossible, or when I would go for an awful long time without hearing from you. I know you realize too that it is rather difficult to write very good letters when you go so long without receiving any. In such cases, I have skipped a few days occasionally. It is only that when I write you, my dearest, I want it to be a letter that will make you feel better and happier and make you love me more.

Linda enjoying some of her father's
attention. That's cousin David
in the background thinking I'm crazy.
This morning I got out all of your letters back to January 12th and read them all in order. I loved them just as much as when I first read them, maybe more, because they were in the order they were written and made things more coherent. Darling, you write such sweet loving letters. They are so much like you. Sweetheart, they really fill my heart to overflowing. Incidentally, your letter of the 18th, the one I received yesterday, the one you scolded me in, surely did smell fragrant with powder and perfume. Is that the way you tried to sweeten up those words and not make them quite so harsh?? Ha, ha. You little rascal. I now have letters nearly every day from you up to January 30th. I hope from now on they start coming more frequent and more in order.

Darling, as I read your letters over, I could see very plainly how disappointed you were becoming, coming home every night and still no mail from me. I can see why you were so blue, and darling, I love you so very much for missing my letters so much. Know this darling, I am going to write you just as much as I can because I know what it means. And besides that, sweetheart, about the next best thing to receiving letters from you is writing to you. I really do love to write to you, especially if I am hearing from you fairly regularly. It brings me so close to you--sometimes so very close that sometimes I feel you must be thinking the same thoughts with me at the same time.

Summer of 1966, Gene with all six children
 by the Salt Lake City temple
I pray always for you and for us--always for just one thing that soon we might be together again and we can have the things we both want so earnestly, a home, a family and that we can go back to "the mountain of the House of the Lord and He shall teach us of His ways and we shall walk in His Path." I am not trying to be dramatic, but only saying those things which are closest to my heart--things which only you will understand. That is the way you, and only you, effect me my love. It is only you with your love and sweet words who can touch or open the innermost chambers of my heart. That is why I pour my heart and soul out to you like this, like I never have to anyone.

It was a surprise about Raymond Cottom, but I suppose she is about his type. I hope they can make a go of it. It will be good for him. I suppose Evelyn and Alden are an experienced married couple by now. I am happy for them though a little envious that they can be together all the time. but mark my word, for we will make up for every moment lost, won't we? I received a very nice letter from Dick. I surely think he is a swell fellow, so genuine and sincere. In fact, that is the way all of your family is. I surely do think I married into a good family. Others have told me that too.

I hope I don't have to spend much more time in sick bay as it is so easy to become depressed just lying there thinking. One even gets tired reading after a while, you know. I think it would have been quite a lot of fun if you had been there to baby me. You know, to bring me my food, give me my mouth wash, put on my hot packs. I would really call on you to wait on me hand and foot. I would make you tuck me in and even insist you kiss me goodnight. But shucks, here they take all the enjoyment out of being sick. I guess that is so the patients will be more eager to recover.

Well my darling, I see I have written quite a letter here, and that has been almost without effort. I almost hate to stop. I do believe this is the longest letter I have ever written in my life. You see what your letters do to me? Just one letter one month old, and that one a chastisement, inspires me like this. Oh Gene, can't you see what you mean to me, how dear to me, how much I love you? Can't you see that of all persons, you are the dearest and closest to me. Right now I fail in being able to express all that is in my heart.

God bless you my love. Forever your affectionate husband, Perry

Feb. 18, 1945

My Darling,

Thought I would just add a note and tell you that I have just reread my letter and tried to correct the mistakes. What I wanted to tell you is that now I feel quite contented and happy because I have just been writing to you. It gives me such a comforting feeling--a feeling that I am very close to you though thousands of miles apart. Oh sweetheart, do you ever feel this way? I sometimes wonder if you could possibly love me as much as I love you.

You see I don't want to stop writing to my love. This time though I will make a final attempt to close, but my heart and my thoughts will continue to be with you just the same for, "Time nor tide nor things to be can keep my thoughts away from thee." Always Yours, Perry

Feb. 19, 1945

My Darling Gene,

Today I thought again there would be no mail, but I was happily surprised when I received two letters from you. They were postmarked Feb. 1st and Feb. 9th, so I must be missing some in between. I was just reading a novel, a rather passionate one, when someone handed me your letters. I threw the book down quickly and quickly devoured every one of your words. They were so quickly consumed. Then I read them over again. The book I put away with disgust because after reading your letters, I felt as though I didn't want to be taken away into someone else's world. I only wanted to be in a world of reality with you. I don't read many novels, but this was a nobel prize winner so I thought I would read it. The name is "The Patriot" by Pearl S. buck. Have you read it?

I suppose it will depend on what kind of a mood you are in when you receive my letter of yesterday whether you like it or not. Before we were married, it was only seldom that I opened my whole heart and soul up to anybody, and then often to regret it. I almost began to think it a sign of weakness, but for some strange reason, you seem to draw it out of me anyway. It seems I want to tell you all that is in my heart--and of my love for you.

After all the time I spent in California, it is too bad that that earthquake couldn't have happened when I was there. You know I told you I always wanted to know what an earthquake felt like. Darling, I don't know what I would do if I didn't have you to write to. My parents and sisters write me, but their letters don't come very often. Maybe I would be quite lonely, but then I wouldn't have so much to miss either.

Has Virginia decided to marry that Dick Tucker fellow after all? Yes sweetheart, I get the news, and when I was in sick bay I heard some shortwave broadcasts from the states. I'm still waiting about my tooth. I will have to wait until they can take some X-ray pictures of it.

It was just two months ago when we got our little Christmas tree and decorated it. What a glorious time that was. We will have many of them yet in the years to come. But they will even be better because they will be bigger and better and there will be others to share our happiness and love.

I must close now my love, but all my love goes out to reach you. Eternally yours, Perry

February 21, 1945 Wednesday

My dearest Perry,

Today I received another sweet letter from my love. It was dated the 11th. Perry, I just live from one letter to the next. Sometimes they come in a pile and sometimes one at a time, but which ever way it is, it's always the highlight of the day and that week for me--it is the peak of my happiness to have your letters in my hand. Oh darling, I am so thankful and so glad I can receive your letters so often, to know that you are safe and well and thinking of me. I give thanks in my every prayer for this.

Yes, darling, I surely did miss you on my birthday, but oh I miss you every day. No Perry, I don't feel any older. I hope I never do. I wish you could have your wisdom tooth pulled too if it is bothering you. I feel so much better now that mine is out. Darling, can't they help you. Isn't there a doctor? I do hope you can have something done.

Linda, Marian and Dale, 1950, Salt Lake City
Oh darling, what a glorious day that will be when you come back, and I want to live wherever you will live, dearest husband. All I want is to be by your side always.

Viola and I worked till about 5:45 this evening. Then we went to a show. We saw "Thunderhead" (a horse). It was another "Flicka" picture in Technicolor. I hope you get to see it sometime. It takes place in Utah. Perry, the scenery was breathtaking. The mountains and the canyons were so beautiful. Perry, I finally received that colored picture of you from that little print you gave me. Golly, it took over two months to have that made. I like it Perry. It's very good of you despite the shadow. I had two made cause it was cheaper that way. Does your mother have that picture of you? If not, I can send her the other copy. Darling, I have sent you some snapshots of me. Tell me if you get them, ok?

Mother had a card today from Virginia. She and her mother have arrived safely in their hometown Waukegan, Illinois and seem to be enjoying the change. Last night was mutual night, but I skipped it this week and went to bed real early again. I felt so much better for it today too.

Will close for now dearest husband. Hope tomorrow will bring your next letter to me. Always know, sweetheart, that my thoughts are with you each day, and that you are the last of my thoughts each night before I sleep. I love you, my dearest husband, I love you. Forever yours, Gene

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