First Separation Hurts Deeply

Posted in Love Letters | 2 comments

Frank and I arrived back to Van Vleck from our Honeymoon on May 13, 1968, which meant we needed to decide where we were going to stay.  We decided to split the time he had left of his leave staying together at our folk’s homes.  Frank would fly out for Fort Devens in Ayer, Massachusetts on May 18, 1968, but I would not be able to follow him there until June 1, 1968, the day after I graduated from High School.

Separation and letters

Frank Washing His Folk’s Car After Our Honeymoon

We spent every minute of those few days together, but it seemed like the minutes flew by too quickly then suddenly it was time to take Frank to the airport for him to fly away by himself leaving me watching as his plane took flight

This separation would be our first separation as a married couple.  The daytimes were not as bad, but my hand felt empty without him holding it with his but both of our days were filled with being around other people,  The nights held many tears from my eyes as I cried into my pillow missing him lying next to me where God had meant him to be.

Frank was struggling with the same feelings that I was having, and in this next letter, and he will share them with you himself.


May 19, 1968

Dear Wife,

I hate to say this, but big brave soldier me almost broke down and shed a few tears yesterday.  I have never felt so lonely and bad before.  When I left this time I didn’t leave my girl, I left someone who is a part of me, my darling wife.

Nancy those last two weeks we have spent together were the most beautiful two weeks in my life.  Last night I couldn’t sleep because there was no one’s head on my shoulder and when I woke up this morning you weren’t there, and it felt so strange. I can’t wait until you get up here and we can set up our own house together and start a family if you want to. 

Darling, I want you to go out to my folk’s house on Friday night, and I’ll call you there.  It will be between 7:00 and 10:00 p.m.  If I don’t call, don’t worry because I might have detail or KP.  If I don’t call  Friday, I’ll call Sunday about 2:00 p.m.  Okay?

You should start packing your things and mine too.  Get Mom to help you with mine because she knows what all fits and all. Is your Dad going to bring you up or what?  I’m am going to look for a place next weekend, and it’ll be waiting for you.  Please hurry.

Did you get your lessons caught up?  You better have.  Are you getting excited about graduation? I don’t have an address yet, but I should have on by the time I call so you can send up the Marriage License.  Do you still want to be my wife?  You realize, of course, that it’s going to be tuff for a long time and we may not have much or be able to do much? Well, take care and Hurry!  I LOVE MY WIFE!

All My Love,                                             


P.S. Wife, I love you, and miss you terribly!


Frank mailed the above letter written on May 19, 1968, along with another letter written to me on May 21, 1968, both w postmarked  May 21, 1968.  They would arrive the same day but had actually written two days apart.  I think he missed me.  I know I was missing him.


Dear Wife,

Well, what’s the hold-up?  Get your butt up here!  This weekend I’m going with my buddy to try and find a place to live for us.  There aren’t many, so don’t be disappointed if we have a hole.  Okay?  

Get my Dad to draw all the money I have out of the Credit Union and all the money I have in the bank out and bring it with you, and we’ll need every cent.   I have an address you can send the license to, and I need it now badly, make sure it has a raised seal and if it doesn’t take it to a notary republic. This is my buddy’s address and keep writing to me there (if you so desire) until I get a permanent address because he will bring the mail to me from their apartment. Have your things ready to go and if you can come on up Saturday. 

Do you know yet how you are coming?  If you’re flying, find out how much it will cost to ship everything up and how long it will take to get here. Darling, I miss you so much already. Friday, we are supposed to ship our permanent barracks and start school on Monday.  But by the next weekend, I should be living with my wife, and I’ll be so happy!

Get Mom and Dad to help you with my things and financial standings.  Tell my folks I’ll be writing soon and I’ll be calling Sunday night to talk to you and them.  So, I am going to close for now and get some rest because tomorrow night we have a GI party.  So, take care, and remember I love you and need you up here as soon as possible.

All My Love,


P.S.  Tell everyone hi.

P.S.  I Love My Wife.


Frank included his friend’s address in this letter, but I chose not to include the address or his buddy’s name.

Separation and Letters

An Unexcused Absence for my Honeymoon

Frank needed our Marriage License to give to the Army so we could apply for our allotment, which would be for our off-base housing and food.  As with all things, it would take time for the Army to process the paperwork for the allotment which you will read about in a future chapter of this book.

The next letter is the one that I wrote back to Frank answering some of his questions and telling him my plans.


May 23, 1968

Dearest Husband,

Hi Sweetheart!  First of all, I want to say I miss you, and I’m going out of my mind because I Love You so much and I can’t see you until Saturday, June 1, 1968, in exactly eight days but probably four or five days from when you get this letter. Honey, I’m sending you the Marriage License right away with this letter.  I will send it Airmail, so maybe you’ll get it sooner.

Honey, I don’t care what the place looks like that we live in as long as it’s a place to live and ESPECIALLY be with you.  Frank every night I cry, I just miss you being by my side so much.  You belong next to me and for you to be gone is terrible.  I Love You, Frank.  Mrs. L. F. Henderson, Jr. says I Love You to Mr. L. F. Henderson, Jr.  I miss you so much.

I’m coming up there on a plane, and I’m leaving June 1st probably about the same time you left.  Are you going to meet me? I hope so because I’ll be lost if you don’t.  I’m freighting our things and probably some of our clothes because I can’t carry too much on the plane.  I’m coming by student fare which is 1/3 off.  My ticket will cost me about $70.  I think Mom and Dad will probably buy my ticket, and Grandma gave me $25 more dollars today.  I’ll draw out all of your money and put it in Travelers Checks so I won’t lose it.

Guess what is on the radio?  “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I’ve got love in my Tummy,” and I do!  Love just for you!  Honey, I’ll be at your folk’s house on Friday night, and I’ll be so happy to hear your voice that I’ll probably cry.  Our little clock is still just a ticking!  I wind it every day, and it hasn’t ever messed up.

I’ve caught up on most of my homework except for Physics, but maybe that hard ole Dad,  Mr. Blakley, will give me a break. Honey, I’ll have to close for now it’s getting late, and I’m still doing makeup work.  Honey, I Love You, and I’ll always want to be your Wife, no matter what!

All My Love, 

Nancy                                                                                                                                        Mrs. L. F. Henderson, Jr.  Your Wife!

P.S. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Kisses!  Just a fraction of what you’ll get when I get there!                                                                                                                                          Love Nancy


Frank would call collect to his folk’s house on Sunday, May 26, 1968, and we got to talk to each other on the phone long distance. Six days later on the morning of June 1, 1968, after I graduated from High School the night before, I would fly out on an airplane by myself to go live with Frank in Ayer, Massachusetts.  It would be the first time I had ever flown on an Airplane and, of course, there would be some glitches along the way.

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  1. least you headed to the great white North in the spring! I know you were excited to be getting back together, but, it must have been more than a little frightening to leave the security of family…

    • I was too young and excited to get back in his arms again to be frightened. Those 12 to 13 days that we were separated seemed like an eternity. We were so connected in our hearts and souls.
      I don’t remember ever feeling insecure except when I was not by Frank’s side. We were both very independent except together and then we were solely dependent on each other.
      Thank you for your comments Kim
      God Bless You,

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