Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Post #516 - November 23, 1944 Be Very Sure That You Put This Letter in a Safe Place and You Remain the Very Image of the Daughter I Always Wanted


23 November 1944

Darling Chippie,

Yet another mail-less day, and I am wondering what I can say tonight to fill a coupla these pages.

I might start off by saying that we had a swell Thanksgiving Day dinner this afternoon. There was plenty of turkey, with all the “fixins,” for all, and I, for one, enjoyed it. I hope that all of you at home fared as well.

Tonight, I am pulling Sgt. Lafoon's CQ for him, and I was meaning to take advantage of it by getting off a real “longie" to you, Sweet, but I find it very hard to do when I don't have a letter of yours to answer. However, as soon as I finish this, I am going to write my second letter directly to Miss Adele Bara Strongin bless her l’il heart. Be very sure that you put it in a safe place, honey, 'cause I mean her to have it some day, when she is old enough to understand it. Red finally finished the pendant, and I’m enclosing it with her letter. I know it isn't much, as far as a gift goes, darling, but it is the best I can do under a restricting set of circumstances. The important thing is that she understand that it is daddy's present to her. I think I can trust you to see to that, Baby.

You must be wondering about what I am smoking these days, since cigarettes are unobtainable. Thank goodness, we can still buy tobacco, so I merely dug up a coupla pipes I had laying around, and am making good use of them.

There is nothing I can think of right now that might interest you, Sweet, but I remember promising to try to write a decent amount today, so I’m most reluctant to sign off before I have completed at least this page and i'm going to do it if I have to sit and think all night!

I might mention (just to fill up space) that the weather isn't too bad these days. It is remarkably mild, as a matter of fact, for November. There is still plenty of green to be seen about the countryside, and the trees are just beginning to moult their leaves. It is uncommonly damp, though, ’cause we've had quite a bit of wet weather.

Just called the operator to give him the schedule for ringing me thru the night. He is to call me at 12:45, 5:00, and 6:30. At that, I'm pretty lucky! Usually, I also have to get up at 3:00 to wake the cooks, but they aren't working tomorrow.

I might mention, Baby, that I’m at wits’ end about your Xmas present and also those for the rest of the family. I would very much like to repeat my procedure of last year, but, alas, I am flat broke - and will be for a month or two yet, so it looks very much like the only Xmas offerings it will be able to tender this year will be apologies. 

And now there is just room enough to remind you, my beloved Chippie, that there is one thing you can always count on - the never-waning, everlasting devotion of

Your Phil

23 November 1944 

My adored Punkin,

On this Thanksgiving Day, just six days before your second birthday, I am moved to write to you once again. It is just a year since I instituted the practice of writing an annual "birthday letter" to you, and little did I think then that I would be writing the next one in pretty much the same circumstances, but by the time you are old enough to read and understand this, you will have realized that our meanderings up the road of time are most unpredictable. It goes without saying, darling, that I regret most deeply that I could not be with you on the occasion of your second birthday, but if the spirit counts for anything, then you must consider that I am ever close to you.

This being Thanksgiving day, it is only natural that it occurred to me to count my blessings. Thank God, they far exceed my liabilities, both in number and importance. I have only to look on my shelf above my bunk to be aware of my two great blessings. Surely, no man could consider himself unfortunate who has as charming a daughter as your own sweet self, and as lovely and loving a wife as is your mother! It is your beloved likenesses smiling so confidently down at me that is my greatest source of comfort in 
my present loneliness. My heart is too full of my love for you to allow of any room for doubt or depression, but, being no more than human, I cannot help but hunger for the reality of you, my darlings.

Then, too, I count as blessings the mother-love of your own dear grandmother, Bella, your grandparents and uncles and aunt of the Paller clan, my own brothers, Harry and Jack, and my dear cousins, the Wymans and Browns and Strongins. In a word, I am very proud of my family - as you will be one day, my sweet. Perhaps most of all, am I grateful for my father, may he rest in peace, the grandfather you never knew, but who, nevertheless, is largely responsible for your being. For it is he who will ever be the greatest influence on my future conduct. It is his creed, his principles and ideals that I live by, and that I will do my best to ingrain in you as you develop, my punkin. There are other things that I will never cease to be grateful for; things too numerous to mention; things that some people take for granted. like a healthy mind and body, a deep appreciation for the beauties in the works both of man and nature, or a strong conviction in the ultimate victory of men of good faith and intentions over the evils that constantly work for the downfall of mankind. These are some of the things I count as blessings, my dear, but there are many, many more that I recognize and appreciate. I would give you a bit of advice in this connection, my daughter, an axiom, if you will, that you will do well to remember: Never take the good things of life for granted. Count your blessings. Know them, and be grateful for them.

But I fear I have digressed from the intent of this letter. (You will have learned that your dad is inclined to be a windy old bird, once he takes his pen in hand.) My real purpose in writing this is to wish you well on the occasion of your second birthday. May there be many happy ones to follow!

Some recent snapshots which your mother was good enough to send to me, tells me better than any words could, what a dear little girl you are. I am very proud of you, Baby, and just looking at your picture conjures up delightful visions for me. You remain the very image of the daughter I always wanted. Your mother will vouch for the truth of that. In my mind's eye, I see you growing up to be a beautiful young lady; I see you bringing your lessons to me; I see you playing tennis in the summer sun; poising for a dive; dancing with your friends; making wonderful music on the piano - all these, and hosts of other images I see, just by looking at that snapshot of you. So you see, darling, your dad has many ambitions where you are concerned. All his hopes and dreams are wrapped up in you. Your mother and I will do all we can to further your opportunities for a full and happy life - on that you may depend.

The enclosed gift is little enough, I know, dear, but ere you judge it too harshly, permit me to explain its significance. To me, the pendant is symbolic, and I'll be grateful if you'll accept it in the spirit in which it is offered. Know then, my dear, that the heart you wear is my heart that loves you dearly. The accident of its crystal transparency you may construe to mean that it is a pure and blameless heart that loves you. That, you have my solemn word for. The impressed insignia represents the service for which I was compelled to sacrifice the privilege of being with you during the greater part of your two years. Wear it in the best of health, my punkin.

In closing, I wish you a very Happy Birthday, Baby. Kiss my beloved Evelyn for

Your loving dad

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