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Only God Knows How Much I Want to See You Boys

Posted by on March 22, 2014

February 10, 1943. Anna writes from home. She is not having the best of days and is frustrated that her husband Eddie has been spending time reading comics. “Cursed be the man or woman who invented funny sheets and funny books and all the ten cent trash that he buys all the time. He doesn’t know it, but tomorrow he won’t have any of that thrash. I will send them air mail to Hitler by fire.”

In other news from home, “Theresa Marie still has her cold and won’t eat much. Mama fell on the sidewalk and hurt her right side and it bothers her a little but the doctor gave her some medicine for it. Sunday I took mama to the show (movies). I tried to give her a good time once in a while because you boys used to take care of her all the time.”

She is finally letting go of the idea of her brothers getting together. “I wrote Stanley about visiting you but he said that he couldn’t do it because that distance from you to him was about 850 miles and his week-end pass was only for a day and a half…and even if you met each  other halfway he still wouldn’t make it back to camp by bed check. So I guess that is out of the question until you fellows get situated closer.”

In this letter, Anna also recalls her emotions the day that Dad left home to go to Camp Upton.  “I can still see your face when you were leaving home. Boy, I sure felt terrible when you were going away. I couldn’t say much but my heart was breaking. Maybe you boys thought that I did not love you but you were wrong. We were only brought up together…and bang somebody comes and pulls you boys out by the collars and says come on we want you. Mama thinks that I am heartless because I don’t always cry in corners, but only God knows how much I want to see you boys, and soon too.”

She continues, “Poor daddy, the next day when he came back when he saw you off to the train he said that when he was working and when he came to the platform from which you left tears came to his eyes and he would walk away and try to forget. We at home couldn’t get used to the sudden quietness and loneness. But we are doing our best. The best thing left is to pray and hope that the war will be over very soon and that you can come home again.”

The platforms at Union Station in Albany, NY as they appeared in the 1940's. It was here that my grandfather worked and where he saw his two sons off to the war.  Photo credit: Albany Group Archive

The platforms at Union Station in Albany, NY as they appeared in the 1940’s. It was here that my grandfather worked and where he saw his two sons off to the war. Photo credit: Albany Group Archive

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2 Responses to Only God Knows How Much I Want to See You Boys

  1. Mike Murawski

    Very incredible description of a family letting go of their sons and brothers to an unknown future. I can’t imagine how many times those emotions raced through so many families during those years, and the different items, locations, and memories that retriggered the separation emotions again. I suppose each had thier own way of coping, like the description in a previous letter of Grandma (Babcie) going to the celler and sawing wood. Mike

  2. John

    Great observation, Mike. I’m sure Anna’s and Pop’s emotions are not unlike those that have been felt by families throughout the years who have had to send their sons and daughters off to war. It has been interesting to see how they have dealt with the separation. Anger, fondness, love and longing all wrapped up together. It must have been even tougher for Pop since he worked for the railroad and probably had to walk that platform practically every day.
    I was talking with Deena about this post last night. This letter really shows a side to Aunt Anna and Pop that I don’t recall having seen on those family road trips to Albany when we were kids. To see her writing from the heart like this is really extraordinary.

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