In front of me was my father’s engagement in black, white, red and pink. My fingers ran to the hearts of satin and raised in the long sentences of my father and the beautiful handwriting that I recognized from the signed report cards. But mostly I was amazed by the dynamics of their relationship. This narration contrasts with everything I thought I knew.
The first letter, dated February 8, 1947, is a one-page note written on onionskin. Baba complains about the bitter days outside zero in his barracks in Scotia, New York: “I have nothing to say except that I love you,” he writes.
After a few weeks, he boasts to get a new tape and becomes a corporal, but he divides my mom with secrecy, because he wants to surprise his friends back home. Then, near the end, he asks, “Do you love me?”
Not sure what my mom was saying in response, because he didn’t save her messages. But when I asked, she said she loved him, but she loved her more. She was only 16 and not ready to commit. He was a little older, but was 19 years old.
Months pass, and in November, he writes what “may be the last letter”. It is Saturday night and he is clearly suffering from emotional pain. He tells her: “To tell you the truth, I don’t think you want to write to me. It’s a good thing, I have now discovered what it feels like about me instead of moving away a lot and I’m still better after this before the prom … Note: I spent a lot of time To go out with you. “
Four days later he writes again, and at the same time – finally! – My mom wrote again. “Dear Irene,” he says, “I received your message today and was shocked to hear it from you. I imagined it was a message from my billing collector, but when I opened it, I knew better.” He apologizes for the desperate tone of the last miss, and then told her that a pedestrian The navy was successful. But “It would have been better if you were there.”
Three days before Christmas his dialect changed. My mother, an Italian with angry hair, before an Italian beauty with a crow, angered, had given him a picture of herself.