In Between Letters

Having been on this side of things more than once, the partner left home, I can tell you it’s not easy for either. Basic training, and being away from home for what follows, is no joke. We hear the strain of it in Jake’s letters immediately.

But we left at home not only pine for our loved one, but worry. We know they are in a painful situation and we can do nothing about it. We can’t be there for them as much as we would like to. And we are left alone to carry on our normal lives for an extended amount of time. It takes it toll on a relationship. Each party living a completely different life experience that neither will ever be able to fully communicate to the other all the while facing fears and doubts. But life goes on as normal at home and the suitors, well, sometimes all they see is the absence, an empty seat next to you, not necessarily the person that empty seat belongs to. It’s troubled waters and not easy to navigate.

May 7, 1941,

Nat and I went to Max Janik’s shower today.  She had planned to go to the show tomorrow but decided against it so I shall have to go alone with Spike as I promised.  I wish now that I hadn’t but what’s done is done.  Gosh I miss my Peaches.

What a crummy situation to be in.

May 8, 1941,

I fell out of bed sometime during the night.  Just one thump and I was back in bed.  Went to Jake’s house and his mother said he asked her not to tell me but he misses me more than he thought he would (so far.)  Spike took me to the minstrel then to the “?”   Gave me a huge bunch of lilacs on the way home and just gently kissed me-just an instant.

What a contrast in that passage between her talk of Jake and what happened with Spike. I’ll admit, at first I thought she was being duplicitous. It took me a while mulling this over to understand.

May 9, 1941,

It rained practically all day.  I came home and washed my hair and started to clean my room.  I had one drawer emptied of it contents when the doorbell rang.  It was Chet Modzelowski.  I looked a sight with my hair all put up.  He stayed until 12:30 and we talked all that time – mostly about Jake.

There is nothing like friendship, and even better, distraction, to get a person through a time like this.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. mommyincolor says:

    I am soo behind on this story…like 2 years behind. Somehow I was unsubscribed from the blog. I thought you had just stopped writing. So glad to know all is well. Reading about all this personal history is so beautiful to me. I think its beautiful that you sit with your elder and talk to her to let her know her stories matter. It also reminds me to start writing/recording down my mom’s stories because my 13yo daughter jist told me she loves to hear her grandmother talk about her youth. Happy New Year!

    Like

    1. Hello Mommy In Color. <3. This comment means so much to me. Thank you for taking the time to read and to let me know how it has made you feel. As a writer who has never had the time and discipline to really focus on my writing, it's… as Jake would say…dizzying to think someone (lots of you! <3) follow this story and remember and had what I wrote impact you in some small way. Babu has now passed but she still and always will be so special to me and writing about her stories and sharing them with some people out here in our little pocket of the internet keeps her very much alive for me. Thank you! And yes, please, when it comes to your mom, and you!, tell your stories, listen to them, write them, record them, take – and print! pictures. Share them with your daughter and encourage her to tell her own!!! If it's anything you choose to share some day, I would love to read along.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. barbwit says:

    Nice to be reading Babu’s life-letters again. Could I suggest that the “?” might be “Show Boat” – possibly the movie or a cafe?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello again, friend! Thanks as always for stopping by and that might be right!

      Like

  3. I wonder if the “?” is “Flower Bank,” particularly as it is followed by a reference to lilacs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a possibility. Thank you for helping and thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. mommyincolor says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of Babu’s passing. I actually was thinking of writing my mom’s stories publicly in some way, just not sure how I want to do that. See you soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Go for it and good luck!

      Like

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