A Message in a Letter

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Frank’s next letter has a beautiful message and it is very special to me.

In late January of 2015, I said a prayer asking God for a new purpose for me.  I was getting older and needed to have something to do for Him.  At that time had been a widow for eighteen years and retired for six years.

That night Frank came to me in a dream and told me, “Nancy, look in the cedar chest”.

For some reason, I immediately woke up.  Lying there in the darkness, I tried to figure out what Frank’s words had meant.  I have a cedar chest in my house but know everything that is inside it.  Most of the contents are things that came from the funeral home in satchels after Frank’s funeral and other special things of his.

Finally, I decided to just go back to sleep and think about it in the morning but just as I was dozing off, I remembered that there was another old cedar chest in a shed in my backyard.  Quickly, I sat up in bed.  No matter how hard I tried, there was no remembrance of what was in the old cedar chest.

Of course, it was still dark outside and there was not a light in the shed, so I decided to get up, get dressed, make coffee, and wait for first light.  I took a cup of coffee and sat outside in the darkness on my patio anxiously waiting.

At first light, I was at the shed door.  After going inside, I realized there were lots of boxes stored on top of the old cedar chest, so I moved them then opened the lid to the cedar chest.  The first thing I saw in the cedar chest was a box.  The box was a square about twelve inches wide by twelve inches long and eight inches deep.  Frank and I had received dinner plates in the box at a Wedding Shower before we married.

When I removed the lid to the box, I saw letters, lots of letters.  Since there was not much light in the shed, I put the lid back on the box then carried the box and headed to my game room.  After sitting the box down on the table in the room, I removed the lid.  The letters were tightly packed in file form on one side of the box.  On the other side leaning against the letters were other letters.

I pulled out the first letter in the row of filed letters then I knew what they were.  They were letters that I had received from Frank when he was in Vietnam in 1971. Reading each letter was like reading it for the first time because I did not remember one word written in them.  Separation from Frank and the devastating emotions of fear for his safety that year had erased those written words from my mind after each was stored in the box.

With the eyes of a sixty-six-year-old widow rather than a twenty-one-year-old scared fearful wife, I saw the beauty of the things my young husband had written in his letters to me and I could see each emotion he was having in his handwriting.

After reading each letter then placing it in order in the box, I realized that the last time this old cedar chest had been opened was after placing the last letter in the box that Frank had written to me from Vietnam, just shortly before he came home safely to me.

After reading the last letter in the box then pulling back the others that were tightly filed in the box, I found a letter lying underneath the others.  Thinking that it was a little strange that I had not noticed it under the others before, I sat down at the table, opened the envelope, took out the letter then began to read it.  I was totally amazed at the beauty of what Frank had said in the letter.

When I finished reading it, I realized that there was a message to me from Frank not just in 1971 but also that day in late January of 2015.  Also, I realized that God had intended for this letter to be the last one for me to find and read even though it was not the last one that Frank wrote to me.  This letter has an eternal message of a love that is never-ending even after death.

Also, I realized that God had a purpose for me to share these letters. I do not know that purpose and I just pray that am fulfilling His purpose.

The first part of the letter is typed, so I will not italicize it, but the second part is handwritten and it will be italicized.  Also, Frank wrote a poem for me and included it in this letter.

November 4, 1971,

Dear Nancy,

Hi there, Beautiful.  How is every little thing with you today?  As you can probably guess, I am on C.Q. tonight.  It is my turn again. It is now 11:15 pm at night and I am sitting here listening to the mortars go off (ours of course).  It has been a pretty dull night so far.  One guy came in with a spider bite on his arm and the 85th EVAC Hospital wouldn’t take him because of so many emergency cases tonight.  I guess someone is really getting their stuff blown away.

Bob (from Okie) brought me in two beers and I just went and got another one, so my poor mouth wouldn’t go too dry before morning.  So, now I am sitting down to write you a long letter.  How about that????

You seem to have a premonition about me getting out early.  You got E.S.P powers you did not tell me about?  Well, if you do then why don’t you get me home now???? HA! HA!

I really look forward to your first letter after you find out about our drop.  Either tomorrow or the next day, I should be getting one about it. I wish I could have been there to see your face when you heard about it.  I bet you were happy.  I certainly was.  All I could think about was how happy you would be.  I am so happy, Nancy.  We will be together in only 23 days.  This time it won’t be for 30 days or 45 days, it will be forever.

Just think, to never have to part again.  Never stand in an airport and say goodbye again.  I will never have to see your tears again as I leave.  I will never have to sit on that damn plane and look out trying to catch that last glimpse of you before I leave.  I will never have to try and tell you how much I love you in a letter.  All the things that have been bothering us for so long will never bother us again.  That has to be wonderful.  I love you so much, Nancy.

I am getting so excited that I can’t sleep at night.  I lay in my bed and toss and turn all night.  I try to think of something else, but I can’t.  The whole world is based on you and our home.  I feel so good that I don’t ever want to stop thinking of it and I know that thinking of it is only minute compared to the feeling I will have when I once again hold you in my arms.  A warm glow just surrounds me when I think about it.  I love you so much.

By the way, I have been having some nasty thoughts about you lately.  It may sound nasty to the other people but it feels so nice to me.  I can’t control myself much longer.  My dreams are taking me over.  You and I fit together so nicely in my dreams.  (I really am horrible aren’t I?)  HA! HA!  It will be so nice when dreams give away to reality.  I guess you think I am some kind of sex nut, don’t you?  Well, to tell you the truth, I am, but I guess you knew that already didn’t you?

I am only kidding and you know it.  I dream about you and I walking together on the side of a hill and during our walk, we sit down and talk.  On this hill, we can see for miles and miles and there is no other soul there but you and I.  We talk about our future and our plans.

I am really concerned about what I am going to do when I get out.  But I keep thinking about having you near and us talking out plans out, that I feel confident that we can work it all out.  I need you to help with me in figuring out what I am going to do and such. I want your help because you know me and you know what I think, feel, and want.

That is why I am looking so forward to our being alone because if we are alone we can do some serious thinking and talking and work out these things before our parents can ask what we are going to do.  I wrote my folks and said I wanted only you at the airport to meet me and I think they will understand.  So what are we waiting for?????

I am sending you a copy of my orders so you can see them.  After all, it isn’t every day your husband gets the orders to the key to happiness, is it?  I just thought you would like to see them.  OK? OK!

Honey, I’m going to finish this letter up in pen, because I just can’t get any feeling from that mill.  I have so many things to say to you when I get to you again.  It’s been a long lonely struggle and it’s almost over now.  I want to hold you and assure you that I love you and I’ll never leave you again. This I promise you and you know I mean it. 

We are two people that were made to live with one another.  We were made to share our lifetimes as one.  It’s an evenly balanced scale.  We both needed each other in order to live a full happy life. I could never be happy again if I didn’t know you were mine and that you always wanted me to be all yours.  We have the gift of life.  Love.  With love anything is possible.  I have you and just having you means that my life has a happiness that can’t be compared to anything.

Being over here has been hell for the both of us.  Yet, I can’t really gripe because all the time you remained faithful to me and your love for me hasn’t flickered a bit.  It’s grown stronger, just as my love for you has bloomed into a love that is unbeatable.  Now we have a full happy life ahead and we are both mature and we both realize just how wonderful our love has become.

Our love was like a new wine.  It’s still wine, but it’s weak.  Once it’s been aged and tested it’s not only wine but great wine.  The same holds true with our love.  It’s aged and been tested over and over and now it’s perfection.  Can you understand what I’m trying to say? I’m trying to tell you that Honey, we are one and nothing will ever part us again.  Not death or anything else. 

Our love is a forever thing and it’s the most beautiful forever thing God has ever created.  I’m trying to convey my love to you through this paper and pen and I only hope you can understand how I feel and realize what I’m trying to say to you.  I love you, Nancy.

God bless you, my love, and keep you safe for me.  I’ll be home soon and everything will be ok.  Take care Honey and think of me and don’t worry about anything.

All My Love for Eternity,


P.S. I’m counting.


In my bunk at night, I lay,

just counting the hours in a day.

For soon it will be all over,

then nothing but blue skies and green clover.

All the long lonely nights of the past

will end when we are together at last.

I think of you and how your beautiful eyes shine,

when I look at you and lay it all on the line.

My love is for only you and it’s nice.

I wouldn’t change that love for any price.

Our love is so wonderful and fulfilling,

and will always be, God willing.

He has given us something that is beyond compare.

He has given us something that only we share.

For you, I’ll gladly die in this lonely land,

because my life is you and you’ve given me your hand,

and said, “Frank, by you I’ll always stand.”

You said, “I’ll love you for an eternity”,

and you have as anyone can see.

I am what I am because you are what you are,

and together, as one, we can go so far.

You’ve given me yourself, your love, your life,

and I thank God that you, Nancy, are my wife.

I love you, Nancy.


A message to me in a letter in 1971 letting me know that we had become one heart and soul for eternity that even death could not part.

In 2015 this same message would be a gift from God in the answer to a prayer for purpose followed by a dream in which Frank asked me to look in a cedar chest that I remembered hidden away in a shed in my backyard.

Forty-four years these letters had set undisturbed waiting for me to ask God for a purpose in prayer.  Thinking He knew I would and thinking, He had a plan.

I have now shared all of the letters that Frank wrote to me while he was in Vietnam in 1971.  Originally when I read these letters, I decided to end this Memoir with these letters but after typing each letter and rereading them, I realized how worried Frank was about what he would do after he came home.

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