In Honor and Memory of Stretch Part II

May 19, 1941,

Even though I realized Stretch was dangerously ill, I didn’t think of him leaving us.  He died this afternoon.  Zosh and I stayed with Nat all evening trying to console her.  She is being brave.  I haven’t got much use for the army since this happened.  They can’t be getting the right medical attention.

May 20, 1941,

I cried and was angry by turns today thinking Stretch and how he died through neglect.  Frank and Ed Koziel came up.  After the meeting they picked us up.  I went to Nat’s, and Tom’s, and Zosh’s etc before I found her.  She saw Stretch (on a slab wrapped in a sheet.)  All her care and heartache left when she saw him.  She seems to think he’s back with her but I’m afraid when they bury him it will all come back, multiplied.  

May 21, 1941,

Jakey wrote me another letter today and he really let me know how he feels.  Zosh, Nat and I walked down to the funeral parlor.  I didn’t expect to break down and cry when I saw Strech but I did.  We stayed for a while and then drove to Palmer with Ed Koziol.  Zosh’s Eddie came in about 10:30.  He got a special permit to come down.  We stayed until 12.

May 22, 1941,

The flowers I sent from Jakey and myself were there today – a lovely, simple spray.  Nat and I walked down tonight and spent all evening there, leaving a few times for a coke and a ride.  Ed Koziel took us riding.  Nat held up beautifully until we were going home and she said good-bye to Stretch.  One of the boys at the casket, Private Lord, walked home with me.  A sweet gentlemanly soldier.  

May 23, 1941,

Soon after, and this morning we drove down to the funeral home.  Zosh and I said good-bye to Stretch.  I touched my cheek to his lips.  He had a beautiful military funeral and Nat didn’t say hardly anything.  In fact, I behaved worse than she did.  I asked her to our house for lunch.  Edmund took me to work.  I really am tired today and rather weak.  Had two letters from Jake.  Was writing to him when Chet Modzelewski came up and stayed until 12.  I am tired – not of him – but physically.


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