Brooklyn in Love and at War

History of World War Two Told Through Letters

Our orders suddenly changed

Thanksgiving gave me a chance to see and think about my beautiful family. With a few technological gadgets, we even got to see those who were stranded by the snow half way across the country. Of course, in 1944, news that loved ones could not be home for the holidays came more slowly and had few consolations. In this letter, written on December 15th, 1944, Alex wrote to Sylvia with a heavy heart that he wouldn’t be home for the holidays as planned. You can feel the disappointment in his words. It isn’t weather that keeps them apart it is seemingly random orders that come with very little information. Alex doesn’t know where they will be or when. He doesn’t even know when he will be able to get to shore to send money home. I theorize that Alex’s English sometimes falters when he is more emotionally distraught. I don’t have the data to back it up but you can read for yourself.dec 15 1944

December 15, 1944

Dearest wife,

            I have written quite a few letters telling you that soon I would be home. I know that in one letter I asked you to stop writing as were on our way soon. You can’t imagine with how much disappointment I am writing this. Our orders suddenly have been changed and we are not knowing what will happen from day to day. It may be that still we may leave for home, but it is more probably that we may be here for another month or so.

            I know how disappointed you must feel, don’t think I am not. But there is nothing we can do about it, but to be patient and wait. It can’t be too long and it won’t be long although it may seem so, when one has to wait for mail in order to know if all is right. It is going to be four months since I last saw you next week, it seemed like ages, but really its only four months.

            I feel very badly also for leaving you so poorly provided for. But I am going to try to cable you some money as soon as I have a chance to get to shore and if they allow to do that. I do realize that it must be hard for you to see everyone busy buying things and you being pennyless [sic].

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But forget it, our holidays will still be, when I come home, then we will go out and get the baby what she needs and toys and dresses shoes for you. If they allow us to take our final tests here, I will take them and that way also my higher pay will start sooner.

I do wish to both of you a merry xmas with all my heart, and a happy New Year, too. You should be cheerful and not worried, knowing that I’ll be thinking of you and am well. May this New Year bring a Victorious ending to this war.

Keep the home fires burning. Don’t be blue.

With all my love and millions of kisses to both of you, your always loving,

            Old Man

P.S. Just keep on writing those beautiful morale building letters, and take good care of yourselves.

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2 comments on “Our orders suddenly changed

  1. David
    December 1, 2014

    No chance to tweet or skype or even call. I wish I could write as well in any language, much less my third one. It is hard to remember that Alex had only been in the U.S. for 15 years and that English was his third (fourth if you include some broken Croatian!) language after Hungarian and Italian!
    To remember that Sylvia was “only” a high school graduate, and daughter of immigrants make these letters even more evocative and beautiful.

    • Molly
      December 1, 2014

      I agree, and think I’ve said before that both of their writing is really incredible. The only hints (in writing) that English isn’t Alex’s first language come through under duress.

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This entry was posted on December 1, 2014 by in Alex, holidays, money and tagged , , .
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