Where Are His Letters?

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Where Are His Letters?

It was hard to keep my mind on my work after Frank left to go back to Vietnam but I knew each day that passed was one less day he had left in Vietnam and the Army.

We had now gone past the halfway mark in Frank’s days left in Vietnam which was the main thing on our minds.

Frank was right when he said that it would be hard for him to come home then leave again to go back to Vietnam.  Our communication through letters was all that we had and when that communication was disrupted, we would both get very upset.

I have responded to the following letters with what I recall that I wrote to Frank.   I did not receive these letters with his replies for over two weeks after they were written by him.  Frank was receiving my letters then writing to me but I was not getting mail from him. I am mentioning this before the letters to help you understand the last letters in this chapter.

In the next letter, Frank was really down but both of us were trying to deal with separation and disappointment at the same time.

August 17, 1971

Dear Nancy,

How are you today?  I hope you are in better spirits and are feeling better than you have been.  You know how I’ve felt about the trials and troubles you’ve been going through.  I just wish that I could have been there to comfort you and help you through it.  You know how I feel and so let’s just forget it and start planning for us when I get out.

Believe it or not, we’re getting out in 151 days.  Only 151 days.  It’s a long way from 1460 days that we started with.  I’m starting to feel a little short.  

I’m getting depressed trying to think of things to says, so I’m going to have to close and try again later.  I just know one thing and that’s, that I love you and I want to be by your side for always and never leave you for anything.

Please take care of yourself and write me when you can.  Please try to be happy and be patient.  I love you, Nancy.

All My Love,

Frank

P.S.  I love you.

I knew that Frank was having a terrible time since returning to Vietnam.  Coming home then returning to a place that was so awful had to have been terrible.  Knowing Frank as a very strong person, I knew that he would gather the strength inside him and work through his feelings to come out of his depression.

As Frank’s wife, I knew that it was my responsibility to pull myself together and help get his spirits up quickly.  I decided to write him a letter that would definitely perk him up, get his mind off of Nam, lessen his worry about me, make him smile big dimples, and quite possibly make him laugh out loud in disbelief.

I had never written Frank a “suggestive” letter ever but I decided to give it my best shot, partly to just catch him off guard and by surprising the heck out of him.  Seems, I succeeded.

August 18, 1971

Dear Nancy,

Howdy wife!  You had to go and do it didn’t you?  You just had to mention it!  Couldn’t just kind of ignore it and let me not think about it, now could you.  No!  You had to mention It! 

Good grief Honey.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to stand it and wait to get home for another four months and 27 hours.  HA! HA!  Just believe me, when I get home I’m going to hold you to your words.

Seriously, Honey, I’m so glad to see your spirits a bit improved.  You never quit surprising me.  Once again you’ve proven that you’re a strong woman and you’re able to face reality.  You’re made of love and understanding.  What more could I as for in a woman that I want to spend the rest of my life with?

I love you so much Darling and I’ll never ever regret our marriage.  I love you more and more each day that passes.  I’m stammering and stuttering trying to find the right words so that you could get some idea of just how much I love you.  I seem to say the same words over and over in each letter but I’m not good at expressing myself. 

Just believe in me and my love because we both know what we share is real and will never falter or fail. I must close now because I’m writing this at lunchtime and I have to go back to work now.  I love you, Nancy. 

I pray for your safety and love for always.

All my love Forever,

Frank

P.S.  I can’t believe you wrote that letter.  But keep it up!

After reading that letter, I am pretty sure that it had the effect that I thought it would on Frank.  I really like the part of his stammering and stuttering to find words to say to me, but the main thing was it took his mind off of his surroundings and made him laugh.

The writing of the letter was also good for me.  It made me smile when thinking of his reaction when I wrote it. We had gone back to playing around with each other and having fun in our letters which was an amazing feeling.

Oh, just in case you wondered, Frank had a photographic memory and I was sure he would hold me to every word I wrote him in that letter.

Frank continues to be upbeat in his next letter.

August 20, 1971

Dear Nancy,

Hi, my Darling.  I love you so very much.  It would be so nice to be holding you next to me and be whispering in your ear just how much I love You.  I want so much to hold you in my arms and whisper to you how good I feel just having my arms around you.  I want to feel you lying beside me at night, watch you peacefully and safely sleep in my arms.

I want to feel like I did when I was home on leave, I just couldn’t stop smiling.  I just felt so happy and contented just being with you.  I’ve never felt that so deeply before and it really is such a good feeling. To be able to smile and not stop smiling.  No matter what happens, you’re able to smile at it and like it.

What a wonderful world this would be if everyone could have that feeling.  We would have no need for wars or hate or animosity toward anyone.

It’s not me either.  I have nothing to do with this feeling.  It’s only my feeling it that makes it part of me.  It’s you, Darling.  You’re the reason I feel this and you’re the only reason I do.  You instill in me the feeling of love and trust.  With these two items, I sincerely feel that I can lick the world and win.

Did you know that you’re directly responsible for what I am or what I become?  It’s a big responsibility but in my opinion, you’ve not goofed yet and it’s a good possibility that you won’t.  You’re my inspiration in whatever I do.  My thoughts are continually on you and what you would think.

Honey, our life was so great for two weeks, but I could tell that you were thinking of the time when I would have to go back and I was too,  Still it was wonderful.  So just think what it’ll be this next time with nothing hanging over our heads.  How alive and fresh we’ll both feel.  To tell you the truth, I don’t know if I can wait another four months and twenty-five days.  HA!HA!

How’s everyone in your family doing?  I hope they are all well and doing fine.  Tell them all “Hi”  for me and tell them to write if they get a chance.  I’ve written my folks one time and besides that, I’ve only written to you.  I just can’t find the time.  I sometimes don’t have time to write you as you’ve probably noticed.  Just tell everyone hello and that I’m still here and that I’m getting short.  HA.

I’d like to make you a tape but I can’t seem to get a day off. so be patient it may be another couple of months before I get off or maybe I can when I have CQ again.  How’s that? OK?

Honey, I’m back on the old subject again but I can’t help myself.  I love you.  I just love the hell out of you.  I can’t help it and if I could I wouldn’t lift one finger to stop myself because it’s too good for me.  I was made to love and take care of a woman and God knows that woman, it is you.  So be prepared to be taken care of.  OK?

I’d better close and get ready for work.  Good night and my love please take care of yourself.  I love you too much to face life without you.  God bless you and our happy marriage.

All My Love Forever,

Frank

P.S. Could you send our little Instamatic over with a couple of rolls of film?  Oh and some peanut butter???  Pretty please.  I love you.

That is such a beautiful letter and I am so glad that I finally received it.

As I have mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, Frank had been receiving my letters but I was not receiving his letters.  I continued to write to him because I did not know what was going on.  Fear was growing deep in my mind that something had happened to him.  I prayed every night that God would let me receive a letter from Frank.

Finally, after over two weeks of not receiving any letters from Frank, even at the risk of it upsetting him, I wrote him a letter asking him why he was not writing to me.

August 22, 1971

Dear Nancy,

Darling, I’m sorry you think I’m not writing.  Honey, I write to you every other day at least.  I’ve been worried about you because the last letter I got was postmarked the 13th and I hadn’t heard from you for a while until today.  I thought you were sick or not feeling good or maybe upset with me.

I like you, only have one thing that I live for and that is you.  So your safety and well being are so very important to me because it’s the only way I’m assured that you’re ok and that your love for me is still as strong as it was. This same principle applies to me writing to you. 

A couple of times I’ve been later than every other day.  Once I had to work twenty-four hours out of forty-eight and I was just so tired that I didn’t eat anything just slept.  The second time was when on the day I was supposed to write they (85th Evac. Hospital) called down to OPs and asked for a blood donor with AB+ blood. 

 So they came and picked me up in an ambulance (truck) and rushed me over to the hospital to give a direct blood transfusion to a guy that was messed up pretty bad.  I didn’t mind because my blood gave him a chance to live.  Nancy, he just kept screaming and crying for his Mom.  Anyway, I was very weak and I crashed till time to go to work again. 

So, if you’re not hearing from me then, I’m sorry.  I’m trying to write as often as I can.  I know you worry about me and I wouldn’t have it any other way because it shows that you love me very much.  But you should know I wouldn’t do anything to intentionally make you worry. I love you too much to do that to you.  This you should know. 

So please don’t worry so much when my letters get held up or you don’t hear from me because you know I love you and I’m going to write whenever possible.  OK?  Ok.

Hey, Honey, I love you.  How about that?  know something else?  I can’t stop thinking about that sweet smile of yours.  You remember that last morning when we were getting ready to go to the airport and you asked me if … and I said no we’d better not?  Well by golly, I wish I had that chance again.  HA! HA!  Better yet, I’ll take you up on that offer now.  Can you arrange it?  HA!  Lookie there, I do have a sense of humor left.

Excuse the wet spots but it’s only sweat.  I’m trying to catch it on a towel but a few drops escape.  Boy, it’s hot over here.  I finally found a tiny fan and I nailed it to the wall about six inches over my head and it keeps it fairly cool.  You’ll probably have to put up with me sleeping on top of the sheets with no clothes on.  But, then again maybe, I can covert you into doing the same.  Whoopie!!!

Honey, I’d best close for now and go back to work before I get fired.  HA!  God bless you my Darling and protect you until I’ll take care of you by myself.  I love you so very much and I always will.  See you in 146 days.

All My Love is Forever Yours,

Frank

P.S.  I love you, Nancy.

The above letter was written to me on the 22nd of August and Frank had just received a letter from me dated the 13th of August.  Instead of my letter taking five days to reach him, it had taken nine days.  There was definitely a problem with the mail service.  The only thing that I received from him was an envelope with a money order in it and a short note saying he loved me.

I was determined to write to him every day asking him where his letters were until I received a letter from him.  Frank knew that all he had to do was write me a few lines telling me he was safe.   Was he hurt? Was he upset with me?  Had he decided that I was not worth his love?  So many questions were going through my mind and so many prayers were being said.

At twenty-one years old, the only person I truly trusted was Frank.  He was my everything. I had many self-doubts and insecurities at the time but I had never felt insecure about how much Frank loved me.

If  Frank was injured and not able to write to me,  I decided that if I kept writing someone would write back to me and let me know or my letters would start being returned to me.  This was a terrible feeling and I was in a panic.

In the next letter, Frank has realized that his mail was really behind in getting to me and how worried I was about him.

August 24, 1971

Dear Nancy,

I would just like to say that I love you and I believe you know how much I do.  Secondly, I’m not treating you rotten.  I’m really uptight and upset.  Not at you but at this damn mail.  I have written you at least every other day and I’ll swear that to God and anybody else.

I know you worry and the only way that I may keep you from worrying is to write to you.  So name me just one reason I wouldn’t write.  Even if I was hurt there are lots of guys that would write to you for me and let you know what’s happening. Please, for God’s sake believe in me and trust me enough to know that I’ll write.  You should know by now that I love you as much as a man can love a woman and you should also know that with a love as strong as I have for you that I’d never do anything to hurt you or worry you.

I’m very upset.  I don’t even know if this letter will get to you or not.  You think you’re worried sick!  I don’t want you to be angry or upset with me but I sure don’t want it when I haven’t done anything to make you this way.  I can’t understand how the money order got through and the letters didn’t.   You didn’t get any letters about how I felt about the possibility of us having a kid or adopting one or about our working hard? 

I realize that by the time you get this or if you get it, that my letters should have been received but I’m so upset tonight that I don’t know what to do. Honey, please believe me.  I love you and I pray that you already know this.  You’re all I have and I love you with every ounce of life I have in my body. 

Right now our supply route is not in our hands and I don’t know if mail is getting through.  Although, I’m getting mail from you.  It doesn’t make sense.  I don’t know, I just don’t know.

Honey, I’m sorry if anything I may have written has upset you or bothered you.  All my intentions are good.  I just love you so much and it kills me to see this happening to you and there is nothing I can do to prevent it.  I’m sorry you’re having to go through this because you know that I never wanted it this way.

God, I love you so much my Darling and I always will.  I pray to God that this letter will reach you and you’ll understand what is going on.  Believe me, I am writing and I’m not mad at you or upset because I love you and how could I be mad at the one person in life I can find no fault with?

God bless you, my love, and protect you from pain and hurt and anything else that may ever change you.  Please believe in me, Nancy and believe in our love.

All my Love to you, My Darling,

Frank

P.S.  I love you more and more all the time.

God’s beautiful intervention.

August 26, 1971

Dear Nancy,

Hi!  I love you so much.  I got a letter from you today and you said you had gotten three of my letters.  Oh, you don’t know how good that makes me feel.  I’ve been so very worried about you not receiving my mail.  I’m so relieved. 

God, I love you, Nancy.  Believe me, I love you more than I ever thought a man could love a woman.  Nancy, your letter today was the most mature that I’ve ever seen you.  I only hope that I can be as mature as you.  I pray that my happiness and that all you need is me to be happy is true.  If so everything else will be happiness plus.  In other words, if all you need is me to be happy, then everything more than me that I can give you will really blow your mind.  And Darling, I really want to make you the happiest woman alive.

I love you so very much.  How can I say it?  I want you to feel just what I’m feeling now.  I want you to really understand how I feel because that way you would know just how much I love you and need you.

Honey, I’ve got to close and get some rest.  I’m really beat.  I’m sorry this is so short but time itself is short and the _ _ _ _ _ _ _ army is trying to make 26 hours in a day and my body just isn’t in that mood yet. 

So good night my Darling and just remember that I’m on your side 100% and my love is the strongest thing you’ve ever seen or ever will see.   God Bless you and keep you from harm.

All my Love is Yours,

Frank

P.S.  I love you, Nancy

I am so glad that we have progressed to have real live and instant communication now.  It would have been so wonderful to have been able to text, Skype, and email Frank while he was in Vietnam in 1971, especially when the mail was so slow.

Of course, I say that but then I would not have these beautiful handwritten letters.  I wonder if our love and faith in each other and in God were only strengthened by having to wait on each other’s letters?

 

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