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"We sure never planned for this, my Tillie...
Words written ... words remembered | never | My Father-in-law and others

Posted on 11/06/2001 5:42:32 PM PST by illstillbe

... but do it we must. I left what money I could under my sock drawer ... saving it, I was, for our trip ...but use it as you need it.

Neal, down at the pharmacy, will see that you have what you need. I talked to him. Keep your rations safe. I know you will take care of the children."

So begins the very first letter written to my Mother-in-law from her husband at the beginning of his involvement in the Pacific theater during WWII.

What follows is a tapestry of courage and commitment and fortitude which should bring us to our knees ... as each tried to buck up the other ...

"Dear Tillie ... I've not had much sleep ... but what I had brought me home to the great USA! I hope you get this ... packages are going out badly. Bobby ... did he make the cut?"

He wasn't getting much sleep because his ship was under attack ... and later sunk .... but I digress ...

Meanwhile ... Bobby made the cut for football ... but Madeline contracted polio ....

"Tillie, got your letter ....finally! .... Bobby made the cut! The guys gave a cheer! The season is long over, I know ... but it was cheered news. I am worried about our Maddy ...sounds like a nasty cold ... hope she is feeling better. Wish I could be there to give you a hug ... I miss you more than you know ... we are off again ... do not know if I will be able to write for a while ..."

He wasn't able to because the Helena sunk like a rock and he was lost at sea for 5 days ....

"Till ... I am so tired, but happy to get your letter. I have read it over and over again! Uncle Boliver would tell me to put it down... I have read it so many times. Our Maddy ...how's she feeling?!"

Maddy had died .... but my Mother-in-law never told him until he came home.

Instead ..."Till ... what's my Maddie-Girl up to?!"

"She's happier than can be, my heart. Rest easy ... hope you get this ..."

So.

The war should be over by now?!

Our sights are short?

We've no patience ... as the remains of the World Trade Center still smoulder....

We are all so very honored, I think ... to be living in these times ... we're a part, we are, of an elite group ~~~~ Citizen Soldiers ... each of us ...

Our President:

"Every American is a soldier ... Every Citizen is in this fight."


TOPICS: Free Republic; Miscellaneous
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I tried to post this in "miscellaneous" but was not allowed ... *sigh* ... flames away ....
1 posted on 11/06/2001 5:42:32 PM PST by illstillbe
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To: Bitwhacker
Well ... I did it ... heaven help me. POLs!!!!
2 posted on 11/06/2001 5:43:56 PM PST by illstillbe
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To: illstillbe
thanks for posting this. (You made me cry, but thanks anyway. )
3 posted on 11/06/2001 5:48:46 PM PST by Temple Drake
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: Temple Drake
My extreme privilege, sir.
5 posted on 11/06/2001 5:50:43 PM PST by illstillbe
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To: A Navy Vet; redrock
A Navy Vet .... to you sir.

redrock ... I have been thinking of you ....

6 posted on 11/06/2001 5:52:16 PM PST by illstillbe
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To: illstillbe
BTTT.

good job.

7 posted on 11/06/2001 5:54:37 PM PST by Yehuda
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To: illstillbe
ISB, read the tidbit on ATRW and am so very glad you posted this. It tells a story that has long been forgotten of patriotism, integrity, self-sacrifice, endurance and undying love. If only all of these could be recaptured for the long and tedious road ahead. These letters are a part of history that can never be lost. Thank you for reminding all of us that there is so much more to life than that which we, ourselves, experience.
8 posted on 11/06/2001 5:56:52 PM PST by jtill
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To: illstillbe
Thank you for posting this, illstillbe. It is helpful to remember our heritage. My father was gone for FIVE YEARS. He had enlisted before Pearl Harbor, and didn't make it home until 1946. FIVE YEARS.

Now, let us all remember that we are, indeed, citizen soldiers, and persevere!

9 posted on 11/06/2001 5:56:58 PM PST by Miss Marple
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To: illstillbe
How short are our memories. A great and timely post. Thank you.
10 posted on 11/06/2001 5:58:44 PM PST by Adrastus
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To: illstillbe; Snowtrill
You made me cry. Again. My heart is touched. Great BIG ((((((HUGS!!!!!))))))

Note to Trill: I need more kleenex back here.

/john

11 posted on 11/06/2001 6:01:19 PM PST by JRandomFreeper
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To: illstillbe
BTTT!!!! Thanks so very much. I wonder how very very many stories such as yours are tucked away in drawers and closet shelves back home. The things we could learn if we'd just talk to the WWII generation, eh?
12 posted on 11/06/2001 6:05:37 PM PST by Bradís Gramma
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To: illstillbe
Very touching. Thanks for the post.
13 posted on 11/06/2001 6:07:11 PM PST by Never Surrender
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To: Adrastus; Miss Marple; kd5cts; jtill; MozartLover; Yehuda
Listen to this ... another artifact from my M-i-l:

"The Agrigulture Department hopes that, because Victory gardens (as many as 18 million of them), food rationing will have much less sting this summer. The department emphasizes that gardening is work as well as fun, requires sound planning as well as patriotism"

Har ... Imagine all of us doing that!

Where's the flow chart when you need it?!

14 posted on 11/06/2001 6:09:58 PM PST by illstillbe
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To: illstillbe; JohnHuang2; Alamo-Girl; rintense; lawgirl; Snow Bunny; Billie; Hillary's Lovely Legs...
Beautiful story of the sacrifices made by others that we might have the freedoms we enjoy. Now it is another generation's time. As President Bush said in his inaugural address "Now we must choose if the example of our fathers and mothers will inspire us or condemn us."

Obviously you have been inspired, illstillbe. I only hope that millions more are also.

15 posted on 11/06/2001 6:10:01 PM PST by kayak
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To: kd5cts
Ok, But I want stock in the kleenex company!

Trill

16 posted on 11/06/2001 6:13:53 PM PST by Snowtrill
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To: illstillbe
The war should be over by now?!

Only according to the media, with their "Vietnam quagmire" similes.

Our sights are short?

Only the media is short-sighted, not the American people.

We've no patience ... as the remains of the World Trade Center still smoulder....

Again, the media is telling us this, but it is not true.

Thanks for posting this.

This gif doesn't show up on "preview", I'll be interested to see if it shows up on the forum. I've printed this and "posted" it on my car back windows, in an effort to contradict the insidious media.

17 posted on 11/06/2001 6:15:49 PM PST by calypgin
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To: illstillbe
Wonderful post!

Thank you

Trill

18 posted on 11/06/2001 6:15:57 PM PST by Snowtrill
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To: illstillbe
We would have to have help here about the fig trees. Some are dying. Sigh. The nice thing is that I know an expert. We'll manage on what's in the garden. Without figs, if required. GRIN!

/john

19 posted on 11/06/2001 6:17:55 PM PST by JRandomFreeper
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To: illstillbe
*sigh*... It didn't show up. The text, superimposed over the American flag, is:

We have Patience.
We have Time.
America Will Prevail.
NEVER FORGET 9/11

20 posted on 11/06/2001 6:20:13 PM PST by calypgin
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To: calypgin; Never Surrender; Snowtrill; Brad's Gramma; kayak
We sang "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree"...
"Don't Go Walking Down Lover's Lane...
With anyone else but me ...."

The scene was vivid in my memory ... and I wondered how many of those healthy and strong young men would ever come back to our shores ever again ... such was this war .... years ... we knew it would be years ...Bill Gilbert .... author of the song Over There ....

LOL! I am still delving in to my M-i-l's stuff ... she saved everything ....

21 posted on 11/06/2001 6:30:46 PM PST by illstillbe
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To: illstillbe
AAAHHHHHHH!!!!! My DAD sang songs like that!!!! I know some of the words still!!! HAHAHAHA And my little GS knows Home, Home on the Range.....
22 posted on 11/06/2001 6:34:27 PM PST by Bradís Gramma
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To: kayak; illstillbe
This was beautiful thank you so much for posting this and for pinging me .
23 posted on 11/06/2001 6:40:28 PM PST by Snow Bunny
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To: illstillbe
This is a great post, thank you.
24 posted on 11/06/2001 6:55:46 PM PST by Rheo
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To: kayak; illstillbe
Letters, stories like this touch our hearts. Thank you for the call, kay. Thanks, illstillbe, for posting it.
25 posted on 11/06/2001 7:30:46 PM PST by Billie
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To: kayak
Beautiful story and excellent reply! Thank you so much for the heads up!!!
26 posted on 11/06/2001 8:34:58 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: illstillbe
Beautiful!!!!!!!!!

redrock

27 posted on 11/06/2001 8:49:34 PM PST by redrock
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To: illstillbe
As always, a treasure!
28 posted on 11/06/2001 10:06:51 PM PST by Species8472
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To: illstillbe
Bravo bellisima!!!!!!! Bravo!!!!!!

Hope you will be able to share more at a later date.

29 posted on 11/07/2001 1:43:50 AM PST by Neets
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To: illstillbe
Beautiful, ISB. So glad you started a new thread. Thank you.
30 posted on 11/07/2001 3:52:53 AM PST by lysie
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To: illstillbe
What a great post, ISB. I was very touched.

In a few short weeks, we will be back on home ground with my parents celebrating Christmas and then my dad's 80th birthday. We will NOT let this opportunity go by without drawing out all we can from their war experiences so that we can take strength from their story.

31 posted on 11/07/2001 4:00:07 AM PST by Mr. Mulliner
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To: illstillbe
My uncle Ken landed at Omaha Beach the day after D-Day. He fought all the way to The Battle Of The Bulge and fought there too. While in France, he met up with his brother Lloyd, an army chaplain, for a brief visit.

Meanwhile, back home, my Dad received an honorable discharge from the army because of injuries received during training. He & Mom got married October 5th, 1944. Grandma wore black to the wedding because they had the audacity to get married while her two brothers were overseas; the memory of that pains Mom to this day.

Ken suffered from shell-shock for years (that was before we had fancy-schmancy terms like "post-traumatic stress syndrome.") He NEVER talked of his experiences until a couple of years ago when my niece was writing a report on WWII & asked to interview him. He decided it was finally time to tell his story......

I, too, have no patience with the "why is this taking so long" crowd. If we're going to do this thing, it must be done well. It must be done right. It can't be rushed.

Thanks for the post Sweetie.:)

32 posted on 11/07/2001 4:17:17 AM PST by MozartLover
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To: illstillbe
courage and commitment and fortitude which should bring us to our knees ...

Great words of encouragement and exhortation... then, and now!

Having read of your time with m-i-l, been waiting for you to post this. So happy for you, and your loved ones, to have these treasures.

How well I remember the days of which these letters speak. There were often dark days of news, especially when a blue star was replaced with a gold one on the banner hung in the windows of the homes of many American families. There was a pall over the neighborhood for a time when the father of my friend who lived next door was killed as a Marine on Guadalcanal.

Visiting soon after, my friend's mom said... "now, now, papa would not wish you to be sad. He died in order that you might live and that you would do so with joy, not sadness". With her own heart breaking I'm sure she could encourage us to go and do our best.

Certainly the happenings of this era should drive "us to our knees" as well.

May the Lord bless you and yours richly.

33 posted on 11/07/2001 4:49:18 AM PST by oldngray
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To: oldngray
bttt
34 posted on 11/07/2001 5:56:40 AM PST by kayak
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To: illstillbe
Thanks illstillbe for posting this.

I read it with tears in my eyes.

Oh, where did I put that box of tissue...

35 posted on 11/07/2001 6:04:34 AM PST by Kanell
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To: Hugh Akston; xm177e2; mercy; hole_n_one; GretchenEE; Clinton's a rapist; buffyt; ladyinred...
A wonderful thread that needs to be passed along to others.
36 posted on 11/07/2001 7:19:55 AM PST by kayak
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To: illstillbe
I'm speechless. Thank you...
37 posted on 11/07/2001 7:33:13 AM PST by eureka!
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To: kayak; illstillbe
Thanks for the bump kayak. Passing a bump long...

bump!

38 posted on 11/07/2001 7:33:21 AM PST by Ms. AntiFeminazi
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To: illstillbe
Bump for this true patriotic, knows what it means to sacrifice generation. I hope we are all inspired.
39 posted on 11/07/2001 7:44:24 AM PST by mommya
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To: kayak; illstillbe
Now it is another generation's time

How well they respond will be a reflection of their upbringing. The letters to Tillie demonstrate the sacrifices and deprivations that generation was willing to endure for the greater good. My f-i-l went to the Army and became a bomber pilot despite having a wife and infant daughter to support; my father joined the Navy immediately upon graduating college and was shipped to the South Pacific. The folks at home tried to use their ration stamps wisely, as they tended their victory gardens. My mother waited in line for hours to get her family's ration of "oleo" or sugar, while her girlfriends drew fake stocking seams down the backs of their legs, because no one could get the real thing.

My generation has never suffered deprivation, nor has the current crop of 20-somethings. I hope our materialism and self-centered contentment will not be an obstacle to victory in this war.

40 posted on 11/07/2001 7:47:34 AM PST by mountaineer
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To: kayak; illstillbe
Thanks for the ping, kayak. Thanks for sharing this, illstillbe.

Shortly before 9/11, I had a conversation with a client who was a young wife during WWII.

She said her husband farmed all day, then worked in a bomber factory in the evenings. She talked about ration tickets for BOOTS. I commented on how decadent we have become - now, we have BOOTS to match every oufit, and eat WAY TOO MUCH!

41 posted on 11/07/2001 8:07:37 AM PST by mombonn
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To: illstillbe
Thanks so very much for sharing this with us. I NEEDED this. Please continue.
42 posted on 11/07/2001 8:32:38 AM PST by amom
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To: illstillbe; kayak
Does the m-i-l have a computer? Is she a FReeper yet?

I hope you will post some more of these (if cleared by m-i-l of course).

8^)

Thanks for the flag kayak.

5.56mm

43 posted on 11/07/2001 9:01:12 AM PST by M Kehoe
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To: kayak
Thanks for the ping.
44 posted on 11/07/2001 9:08:17 AM PST by RikaStrom
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To: illstillbe
Thanks for posting this.

Carolyn

45 posted on 11/07/2001 9:18:27 AM PST by CDHart
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To: kayak; illstillbe
Thanks for the flag, kayak; and thank you, illstillbe, for your beautiful post.

Tears are streaming down my face. I can't begin to imagine the pain of losing a daughter while your husband was away at the front and then not being able to share your grief in order to shield him from the additional pain and helplessness he would feel.

"She's happier than can be, my heart. Rest easy ... hope you get this ..."

This line just breaks my heart. Your mother-in-law is a remarkable woman.

46 posted on 11/07/2001 10:10:36 AM PST by RottiBiz
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To: illstillbe
Bump!

Are we going to be as good, now that it's our turn?
I think we will be. We're growing up more and more each day.

47 posted on 11/07/2001 10:13:19 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: illstillbe
Bump!!!
48 posted on 11/07/2001 6:26:30 PM PST by oldngray
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To: Miss Marple; illstillbe
It is helpful to remember our heritage. My father was gone for FIVE YEARS. He had enlisted before Pearl Harbor, and didn't make it home until 1946. FIVE YEARS.

I exist because of World War 2. My father married my mother three days before he shipped out as a 17-year-old senior in high school who was graduated by virtue of enlisting. He told me that he would not have married when he did if it had not been for the war. (I wasn't born till several years after his return.) So WW 2 IS one of the biggest factors of my family's heritage.

illstillbe, thanks for posting this .. voices from a much saner era than surrounds us now.

49 posted on 11/07/2001 11:33:34 PM PST by GretchenEE
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To: kayak; oldngray; MozartLover; mombonn; RottiBiz; mountaineer; mommya; OneidaM; M Kehoe...
Forgive me!! I am out of town and this is the first opportunity I have had to be on a computer ... thank you, ALL, for taking the time to read this.

The history we can all share! We come from strong stock, we do. Here's a little bit more;

"Happy Anniversary honey!! By the time you get this it will be long gone but I hope you are thinking, as I am, about the happiest day in my life. You looked so pretty and I was so proud. I love you even more today. It's hard to believe that we are so far apart. I know that you're lonely, but when I come home you'll put on your dancing shoes and we will celebrate then!! Stay as strong as you are. Thinking about you, my Till, keeps me going."

I wish that all of Tillie's letters survived. But many of them were lost when my F-i-l's ship sunk. But on this anniversary, Tillie was tending to her F-i-l who had moved in with her and the children. He was in his early 70's and worked for the Public Works department cleaning the streets in winter to bring in some extra income. One night was so cold his hands became frostbitten and my M-i-l remembers changing the bandages on his poor hands ... the skin blackened ... as she remembered her wedding day.

Humbling, it is.

50 posted on 11/08/2001 4:04:32 AM PST by illstillbe
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