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Monday, November 28, 2011

NaNoWriMo - A Peek at Love Letters From a Stoic

Truth be told, I failed miserably at NaNoWriMo. I've composed nowhere near 50,000 words. Life invariably worked against me and my overreaching commitment.

But, I have made some progress on the project, which recounts the WWII years, 1943-1945, during which my aunt and uncle were separated by his service in the U.S. Navy.  They had a marriage that evades comprehension by most modern standards:

And I do wonder in those giddy early days if she knew the life she was courting. If she knew she would never own a washer and dryer or dishwasher because of the expense. If she knew she would have no heirs and no say over what became of her home and her possessions even after B.C.’s death in 1993. If she knew she would fill her attic with Styrofoam meat trays and her basement with jars of pickled beets as if the next Great Depression loomed ominously, even in the post-war 50s and the bull market 80s.

But usually, we don’t know. Love makes us leap in without checking the depth. That’s what’s so ordinary about their marriage. What appear to be rigors and disenfranchisement to us, were true affections to them. I believe that B.C. took the role of caring for Nita and shielding her from want. She gladly submitted to his will. And I believe it was all born of love.

The first letter of WWII:

Open only if I do not return, he neatly penned across the front of a white business envelope, in a level, straight line. Then he tri-folded the single page into even thirds and slid it soundlessly into the sleeve. Using a sponge he moistened the glue strip on the flap and pressed it firmly in place.

The completed package glared at him, white and fresh, from the smooth, cold marble top of his wife’s dresser. This business of war raised all sorts of issues of trust. Trust in commanders to make the right decisions. Trust in one’s training, that it was sufficient for the duties assigned. Trust in God’s plan. Trust that he would come home and find the letter intact, untouched, unread.


Mike said...

Maybe you failed at the NaNoWriMo, but who cares? It looks like you've begun a wonderful project that will be completed on a different time scale, but appreciated nonetheless.

You did great!

E.D. said...

I agree! It looks like you are now working on a great project that holds much promise! Good luck!

james said...

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William Kendall said...

It looks like it's a project with a lot of potential, Lucy!

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