An exceptional relationship between mother and son, and the words between the lines that told how love and lives were shaped by the war. A great manuscript for the devoted reader. A true reflection, best I can type it into words for viewing. -Deb Barker
Jan 12 1943
Agency Oct 8 1943
Oct 17 1943
Feb. 16 -43
Dearest Baby Mine.
Here I am at nine oíclock as usual. I had to wash out hose and such this evening. The house was warm & Jack was home so I have sent them off to town for the evening. I guess they will go to a show but they really want to get groceries first.
When I got home their Baby was sick & had sent for the base Dr. so he came in uniform & in the big gray truck with the red cross on it & it was parked in front. But she is only teething which I told them was the case. She is asleep now for awhile at least. She just frets a little now & they were scared because she had a temp of 102. But he said she was O.K., just her teeth are nearly thro in front.
We have had a some cold weather, 5 below again this morning. The rugs & table was delivered today & the kids are in love with the, but I am not going to put the rugs down before next week when I will be home then.
I want to do some cleaning & arranging then & by that time I hope another job looms up for me somewhere. I didnít take my lesson today as Mrs. Stoltzís children were home & she was having a visit with them for a day or two. I guess everything is working out all right for me but I feel upset over not having the job there any longer.
However, I am not surprised at the turn of events. It is only natural that she take her sister in. There is going to be a shake up at the store, too, but Iím glad Iím not in on it, although I know a lot.
Bobby minds Betty just fine when she lets him out & he is so nice she said all day long. He wants to go to bed now. I want to hear the news first.
Jack paid me $25.00 this evening so he is set for a month. Mrs. Miers notified me that coal is now $5.75 a ton. I wonder what I will do next winter. I will be worse then. I sure hope I have a steady job by then. I see that women in their 40ís donít have much show. I feel so useless & good for nothing. A burden to you.
I am so proud of those little pictures which you sent me. I want a nice good large one in your uniform for framing. Jack looks so cute in his & I know you will look so much nicer. How I wish the cold weather would let up. It is wearing me down. I feel like closing the house & taking the car and starting out for La. Your description of the country & weather tantalizes me almost to the pain of coming down when I get my insurance money, but I will have to stay here & suffer in the cold and loneliness. The kids are sure swell to me, tho. I canít complain on them yet. Jack got a letter from his mother & 2 of his brothers today.
They are as lonely & homesick for their parents and home as you are down there. They donít have the Lordís comfort either, so it is hard for them.
My good dresses havenít come yet & I am really stranded for a church dress but I hope they come next week.
How is your leave coming & have you heard from Morrells yet with the letter from Larabee? Iíve got to get a hair cut tomorrow. I look like a long haired dog. I canít get away from work early enough for the barber shop of an evening & donít have enough time at noon when she is there at the store for she only lets me have an hour. Frank would give me more time.
I didnít get any letter from you today, maybe I will get two tomorrow. I hope so. I nearly go batty of an evening when I donít hear from you. You have no idea how I miss them. I wish you could see the table & rugs, they are beautiful. Betty had a fit over the table & chairs, too. I like it because they are paid for. No bills staring us in the face over them.
I sure will have a big washing next week & a lot of cleaning & arranging to do. I am going to store a lot of things & so is Betty because she wonít need them here such as pans & kitchen knives & potatoe mashers & all such things as that. They sure donít travel light & he has his mattress & pillow like yours & donít need it. It is excess baggage to him now.
I wish now that I had got the typewriter out but I felt that I wanted to use a pencil for a change. Jack has had a business college course, too. He worked for the Edison Commonwealth Co. of Chicago before he went into the service last Oct., same month that you did. They went to town on the bus & may have to walk home because you never know when a bus is going to break down but that is their lookout, not mine. I say ďNoĒ to Jennifer going out unless I am in it.
Vernon left D.M. Sunday with a co. of men in charge for somewhere. Mr. Brenneman was at Camp Dodge Sunday & he phoned me that he met Vernon & Vernon gave him some help & courtesy that he appreciated so much that he had to phone me & tell me & also that he left D. M. that day, Sunday. It will either be Kentucky or Texas, so far as he knew.
I nearly go crazy when I think of both you boys gone & Iím here alone for maybe four more years. Oh, if God would only fill me with more faith & courage to carry on, give me steady work and more desire to live & go on for him & for you. It is easy to speak encouragement to others but a different thing to live it yourself. It really puts one thro the fiery test of faith and physical strength and I am so weak.
I have to order more coal in a day or two. It really is getting me down. How I wish this winter weather would break. I donít know anything but go to work & come home & get ready to go again the next morning. I donít see any neighbors or get to talk to any of them. How I wish you were here or I there. It nearly kills me to be away from you; and I know or at least hope you are the same. Now Vernon was just crazy to go & I donít blame him much. He had no encouragement at home and no appreciation for what he did do when there. While I loved & worshipped your and all that you did for me.
I am so glad for you that you have friends so kind to you and that you got in a full gospel church. That is the greatest help of all to you.
My allotment has not come yet. I wonder if it ever will. Bettyís hasnít come yet either since Jack has been in. So I suppose there is a lot of us in the same boat the country over. Bobby sure is wanting me to come to bed. He is crying for me to get undressed & roll in.
I would like to get a pad for the dining room rug but since I have lost my job I am afraid to get it. It will cost $10.50 but will be worth it in saving wear on the rug.
As soon as I get a job I will get it but the furniture store said that when they have this roll sold that they cannot get any more. I can use the old 9x12 one in the living room & extend the rest of with other materials such as strips of the old rugs for the other 3 feet, no, the other six feet or buy a small 9x6 piece. The rugs are a dream. They are the swellest ones we ever had in this house, believe me.
I am happy over them in a way but my joy would be completed if you were here with me to enjoy them, too. I am selfish. I donít want other people to share them, no one but you.
Oh how I hope a job opens up for me. I donít believe I can stand it here at the house without you, if it donít. The taxes are paid until next Spring. I paid your 2 lots & the home in full for the year & the insurance is paid until the first of May & your Ordinary of Feb. 20th. I just hope to have a job to cover insurance & household expenses.
Well I must fix the furnace for nite & the kids will be home before long. It is not so cold tonite. The temp got up to 30 degrees today. It is just one blizzard after another now.
I ran out of lead so picked up this blue pencil. This letter sure looks seedy, donít it, Darling Boy? Well, I love you just as hard as if it was fancy. You are my only one.
I havenít been able to get but one roll of film but Iím going to try tomorrow again at noon. If I can get enough to make it worth while I will send the camera to you. I donít have any desire to use it anymore for myself. Unless it would be to send you snaps of home & Bobby.
Well I must close now as it is near eleven and I am so sleepy & tired. I hope I hear from you tomorrow. Push that leave so that you can come home as soon as possible. I canít stand not seeing you much longer. Jack want to get one to go home when his brothers get one as they both have new babys & neither one has seen the others so they are anxious to see who has the best one. Oh, but Iím glad you donít have a darned wife & kid to worry about. I wouldnít have you in Jackís shoes for a million when Betty is good & patient, but it is a worry a terrible worry even at the best. Both were just frantic tonite about the baby until they knew what was wrong, wouldnít even eat. Jack just goes to pieces. Betty is steadier than he in a crisis. They trust the Baby to me so & the Baby finds such
Ö..comfort with me & cries to come to me but I am not strong for fooling with her, you know me and kids.
Well, I must say good nite and God Bless you my dear & do write me. I love you and miss you so much. Cling to God, dear one, and pray for me that God will lead me to a job & a better one, too. I feel that He will. Lots of love from your lonely Mother & Bobby.
God Bless you and Good Nite. Mother