March 16, 1945
I knocked off a quick v-mail yesterday as I had very little time for writing. Neglected to mention in the v-mail, except for a “P.S.” that I received your v-mail of 7/March, which told me that you had read the article about Dr. Lempert. I haven’t heard from Jackie for some time—maybe it’s because I owe him a letter. I think I told you that he plans to marry sometime in April or May. Guess he’ll let me know when, exactly, and no doubt he’s too busy with Marge to do much writing these days.
My correspondence is at a standstill—I’ve lost all taste and patience for writing—in fact I have not written a single letter to anyone else but you so far this month. I’ve been too tired and busy. I hope to break the spell by getting a few letters off this weekend.
The weatherman surprised us greatly by predicting “summer weather” and darn if he wasn’t right. It was actually uncomfortably warm today. Most everyone has that “washed-out” feeling.
The other day Adele said to me, “Mommy, Nanna used to live next door, but Missy Otok lives dere now.” I was really astounded, for I had never thought she could remember that far back—it’s almost a year since Betty moved.
Dot tells me that she receives more cheerful letters from Snuff since he was transferred to New Mexico. He expects to have a furlough in June. I’ve apologized for your not writing & she understands, just as long as you remember her in my letters. That doesn’t mean she wouldn’t like to hear from you direct.
Ed took the typewriter over to 4920 to type his mail & Ruth uses it for her homework. Since they are using it this evening—you’ll have to put up with this. I love you so very much, Phil.—
16 March 1945
Your ill-advised V-mail of 9 Mar. came this afternoon. I say ill-advised because I mean just that—what’s more, I’m perfectly ready to prove how wrong you were in launching your tirade of condemnation against me. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t feel compelled to justify myself, but the fact is—I can’t abide the knowledge that you think ill of me on any account, and if by explaining why I am not at fault I can correct your impression of me, then I certainly mean to do so. I won’t go into what your letter made me feel—it would only be a weak effort in comparison to your letter, and would not reflect my true feelings simply because I wouldn’t hurt you knowingly under any conditions—whether you mean the accusations or not. Let me then, state the facts as simply as I know how. I think it was some time in January that I promised that I would write daily “if it were humanly possible.” I appended no restrictions or conditions to that promise, Chippie, and (I trust this will not surprise you completely) I consider that I have, to date, lived up to the letter of that promise! Here of late, I have been priding myself on that fact. Knowing, then, how I felt at the time of receipt of your V-mail, can you imagine, Chippie, how much it hurt? Now let me say this: The only days in February that I failed to write were the 19th and 20th. The reasons for those failures I have already explained, namely that on the 19th I spent all my free time preparing for the trip on the morrow. On the 20th, I was traveling from 1:35 P.M. (when I took the bus at the base, ‘til midnight, (when I arrived at Doncaster). Needless to say, I was plenty busy with last minute chores up ’til 1:35 P.M. on the morning of the 20th. Then, (and this is where you made your greatest miscalculation, honey) I wrote daily to compile those 22 pages, which represent anywhere from two to three hours work each day from the 22nd Feb. to the 27th, inclusive, and which you chose to regard so lightly. You will understand, of course, that it was hardly possible for me to write on the 21st, since I continued my journey that morning and reached Meadowcroft about 4 P.M. The remainder of the evening, as you know, was necessarily reserved to getting acquainted with my hosts and the other guests. By the same token, I couldn’t write again on the 28th, when I traveled back to camp. You will understand, too, (when I’ve told you) that it was impossible for me to mail a daily installment while on furlough because censorship regulations forbid the posting of mail by a soldier at any place but an Army Post Office. I was compelled, therefore, to hold on to my letter (or letters) until I got back to my station. I think you knew about this, Chippie; at least you should have known from past experience, but since you so evidently ignored this fact, I will give you the benefit of the doubt (which, incidentally, you didn’t favor me with), and consider that you forgot it. As far as I can gather from your letter, you had received my letters up to and including 14 Feb.
I believe I have accounted satisfactorily for 19 Feb. thru 28 Feb., which leaves 15, 16, 17, 18 Feb. unaccounted for. Now I don’t pretend to know what happened to those letters. I’m hoping they were merely delayed and not lost, but I do know that I wrote on those dates. Further, I have written faithfully each and every day in March, and fully intend to continue doing so—altho’ I will admit that my first reaction after reading your rather harsh letter was to do anything but that! I even considered, in the first heat of my anger and righteous indignation, making you wait your turn while I devoted some of my evenings to answering my other correspondents, but this, of course, was only an impulse of the moment, born of the instinct to strike back at you for so misjudging me. When I had cooled off a bit, and realized that there was some justification for your own misconceptions, and that it was only because my letters mean so much to you that you could feel so badly about the lack of them, I was ashamed of myself for harboring, even for a moment, a desire for retribution. For that I ask your forgiveness, Sweet. Before I close the subject, though, I want to once more remind you that there is no substitute for faith, and ask you, when you again feel yourself aggrieved or in any way unfairly treated by yours ever lovingly, to at least give him the benefit of the doubt until he has had the opportunity to defend his action or lack of action, and refrain from calling him to task until such time as you are very sure you know all the facts. The mere fact that you failed to receive my letters for a period of eight days or eighty days, as badly as it might make you feel, does not, to my way of thinking, justify all the hard and unkind things you were moved to say before knowing my side of it. Just as you are “tired” of what you are pleased to call my “apologies and excuses,” so am I inclined to deplore the repeated necessity of pleading that you show at least a modicum of faith in my good intentions, and my desire to please you in any way I can, and to the utmost of my ability. I must admit that I feel myself a failure, and am bitterly humiliated by the knowledge that I have, after all this time, failed to inspire that faith in me in you, my darling. Please, for both our sakes, search your heart and mind, and ask yourself if you cannot find it there to grant me the same faith I have in you. God knows, I have done whatever I could to deserve it. However, it is most essential to our future peace of mind that you know it, too—. If you love me as you say you do, dearest, please dignify that love with faith. For my part, I can’t conceive how one might love without it. Also, for my part—while I can remember taking issue with the wisdom of some course or action you followed or contemplated, I don’t think you can point out a single instance where I ever doubted your good intentions, or was so impulsive that I criticized you before giving you some chance for explanation. In all fairness, then, Chippie, won’t you favor me with the same treatment?
Before I close this letter, which I so much wish you hadn’t forced me to write, I want to tell you, Sweet, that I will be taking my 48-hour pass tomorrow. My intention is to spend it with Bert and Evelyn. I’ll also drop in on Marks and spend a few hours there. I’ll also pick up your mysterious “gew-gaw” (ain’t I stubborn?) that Bert has wrapped for mailing, and which I have been unable to take from him these many weeks. I’ll remind you, honey, that I’ve left the engraving of it up to you and the Phila. jewelers, but I insist that you send me the bill, or tell me the cost, so that I may reimburse you and consequently be able to feel that it is entirely my anniversary gift to you. I trust the finished article will be be worthy as such, Sweet.
Good night for now, my darling, and you may rest assured that I will make every effort to write tomorrow, and the next day, and the next—
You are a short-tempered, impulsive, Chippie, my Evie, but perhaps I wouldn’t love you quite as much as I do—if you weren’t.—Which reminds me of a particular night when you were so annoyed with me, that you turned your back to me in bed, and refused to concede me even the graciousness of a civil “good-night.” I won’t go into the details of my own emotions at the time (although I will admit to a feeling of utter emptiness and despair), nor will I recount the little tendernesses that brought you back to my arms and heart that night—I merely want to say that your tears of forgiveness and avowals of love on that occasion made it the sweetest, most idyllic experience of my life—before or since. I’ve thought about it a thousand times since, and I fully expect the poignant sweetness of that moment to live in my memory forever—Darling, the only regrets of my life are that we have been deprived of a thousand days and nights together, and that we have all our previous joys behind us! I live only for those still to come.
My dearest love to your daughter and mine, may God bless her! Love to all my loved ones. I am ever
Your adoring husband,