The Most Wonderful Gift

Fort Riley, Kans.
Oct. 25, 1942

Marjorie Darling:

I got the package today, and you don’t know how thrilled I am at your picture. It’s absolutely beautiful, darling. When I heard from home that the folks had received a picture of you, I thought it was one of the snapshots taken on our wedding day, but since getting this picture, I realize differently. Sweetheart, there’s only one thing I’d have liked better than your picture, and that’s your presence. This has been so darned lonesome without you, and each week-end is worse than the one before. Only four more week-ends here, thank the Lord. The cigarette case is very handy, too, darling. It seems my cigarettes are always being beaten around so that by the time I get around to the last few, they’re in pretty sad shape. Thank you, darling, for the cigarettes, the case, and most especially the picture. It’s positively adorable, and I’m so proud of it. Each time I look at it, I wonder how it ever happened that I married an angel like you. I don’t want to walk without you, sweetheart, ever. Please be sure I miss you terribly. If only I could hold you right now, and thank you with kisses. Oh, how I’ve missed your kisses!

Your husband pulled an awfully dumb stunt the other day. I wrote you a letter, marked it “Air Mail,” and then mailed it without stamps. Isn’t it awful? Of course, it came back for postage, and you should get it tomorrow.

I got a letter from Lois and one from Donna yesterday. Of course, Donna’s was entirely illegible, and Lois’s wasn’t much better. Donna has her own form of shorthand, and it’s undecipherable, except to her. Everyone at home is crazy to meet you.

They seem to be increasing the pace around here every day. Tomorrow is the beginning of another very busy week, and no fooling. Wish you were here to take my dictation, but I’m afraid that your lips would be too much of a temptation, and the work would really suffer for it. One of your kisses right now wouldn’t be too hard to take. My heart beats faster every time I think of it. Sweetheart, nothing else seems to matter so much to me as your being with me. Wouldn’t it be swell to be in Seaside, or in Portland today, knowing that we need never be separated again? Darling, I’ve tried to explain my loneliness and my love for you, but words become even more ineffectual each time I try. I’d give anything if you would appear beside me right now. I dreamed the other night that you and I were shopping together, and that I was trying to slip away from you and buy you a present, but each time I got away and started to make a purchase, you were right beside me. Guess I want you beside me so much that even in a dream, you won’t let me get away from you. Every day, a dozen times or so, I imagine my waiting at a railroad station for my wife, and I see her getting off the train in her red dress and her fur coat, and I run up the platform, grab her, and hold her close and kiss her, a long, dreamy kiss. And she holds me close, too, and presses her lips to mine. Then she kinda ducks her head and presses her cheek to mine for a moment. It’s really a beautiful dream, darling; and your husband can hardly wait until it comes true. It’s true that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and I don’t mean for somebody else. Every minute we’ve been apart has seemed like a year, and I only hope that the rest of the time between now and our meeting will go a lot faster. It never was easy for me to be away from my darling, and the past few weeks have been ever harder.

There isn’t much more I can write you, my darling. Thank you again for the most wonderful gift I ever received. I love you, Mrs. Hopkins, really I do. Be sure to continue to love me a little, won’t you? Goodbye for this time, darling little princess.

Your loving husband,

Ed. Note—This letter has a bit of shorthand at the end. If you can read Gregg shorthand and you’d like to take a stab at what it says, please do type it out in the Comments!


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