Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Notes from My Mom

With everything going on in my life recently, I've too often found myself scrambling around at the last minute for an idea for the next blog. For some reason--and those three words are becoming my mantra--I remembered that in addition to my mother's having kept, at my request, all my letters home while I was in the Navy, I kept those from her and my dad. I've not looked at them in years, I fear, but set out to find them to see if they might spark an idea for a blog. I've never shared my parents letters to me with anyone before, but as I started re-reading words written by my mother more than 55 years ago I was once more caught up in the whirlwind of time, and one again then became now.

Because I didn't have an address the first week after I left home for Pensacola on August 13, 1954, Mom began a letter and added to it until she got my address and was able to send it off. The words may appear to be black letters on a white monitor, but I can hear her voice I hear as I read them.

Here are just a few snippets from those first letters, starting with August 17, 1954.

Dear Son:

Since we don’t know just when we’ll get your address, I’ll write something every day to keep you posted on the news, and mail it in one letter this time.

I’ll get your “Wonderful Town” record this Saturday. Maybe by getting one you particularly want every now & then, you’ll have quite a collection when you get home on leave.

Dad & I went to bed about 9:30 Monday night—we kept wondering where you were at that time. Stormy didn’t sleep on your bed—he stayed on the big rug in the back bedroom.

Have you been issued your clothes yet, son? If so, what? And do you know what your pay will be?

Thursday morning—I woke up with a bang about 5 o’clock, thinking of you. Just what were you doing about seven—Florida time—eating breakfast?

This letter is really a jumble, isn’t it? It was grand getting a card from you dear—at least we know you’re OK. Hope those shots won’t be making you feel awful. Maybe you’ll get time to write a letter & tell us more details—I hope.

As I’ve told you before—I wouldn’t trade you for a farm—or a million. We’ll write, and please try to do the same whenever you can son.

If there’s anything you want, let us know.

P.S. I called Dad & told him we got the card—he’s tickled too for we’ve been waiting every night. He wants to write tonight too, so I’ll have to hold all this till then

20 August, 1954

Just a week ago we took you into Glenview, and I’ll bet a lot has happened to you since then. We’ve been hoping to hear from you, but of course we know you will write as soon as you can. It sure is lonesome without you—I hate to come home after work, but of course it’s no use in moaning. I just keep trying to remember you will be able to come home eventually, and I’m sure you’ll have some interesting experiences, and see things you wouldn’t otherwise see.

We’re sure anxious to hear from you. Every time they play “High and Mighty” (which is pretty often), I wonder what you’re doing, and where you are. Guess I told you I’m getting your “Wonderful Town” record tomorrow. It sure was a good show, wasn’t it?

Please give us all the NavCad news you can—it’s very interesting, and we can sort of picture what you’re doing. Sounds like your barracks are pretty nice, with that kind of a view. Does the PX carry just about everything?

I hope you get a chance to phone home some night this week. It’s always so good to hear your voice, even though when I hear you, my mind goes blank , and I can’t think of anything I wanted to say to you.

Simple letters. Nothing deep, nothing profound, just one mother's words to her son flowing through 55 years of time, and just this instant, as I realize that, it breaks my heart.

New entries are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please come back...and bring a friend. Your comments are always welcome. And you're invited to stop by my website at, or drop me a note at

No comments: