Give Thanks

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            Last Thursday was the official USA Thanksgiving day.  Crystal and I were in Cincinnati celebrating with her dad. We ordered the made ahead dinner from Bob Evans. It was a good meal and her dad is just happy whenever we show up. Between Crystal’s brother, Larry, and his visiting nurses aide he is pretty well cared for. Somehow, though, there are always things to do when we visit. I might go out for groceries or help him do some odd jobs around the house. I don’t mind and am glad to help. He is surprisingly well adjusted. He doesn’t worry about much. He does the best he can each day and I think he feels that each day he is just one day closer to being with his precious Mary Jane.

            This time, while I was doing some laundry in his basement, I grabbed the box labeled WW2 letters and read a few. They are in really rough shape. He had terrible penmanship and on most the ink had run. However, what he lacked in esthetic quality he made up for in quantity. Even though they only met at the USO one night before he was shipped overseas, he wrote dozens of rather lengthy letters over the next year. Of course Mary Jane wrote back. I haven’t gotten to those letters yet. Mary Jane once told me that they fell in love by mail. I recorded the following excerpt, which I will add to our memoir.


July 17, 1945

Dear Mary Jane

            Congratulations. It’s our anniversary you know.  It was just a week ago today that I met you. Now I am 2400 miles away and can’t see you; but I can dream and remember. It was so wonderful it almost doesn’t seem real. I shall never forget it.


            I can guarantee he is true to his word. He might not remember what day it is or whether he ate lunch, but he can remember every detail of his love for his wife of fifty-five years, Mary Jane. I know that is something for which he will always be thankful.

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