Frank’s mom pulled together all the mothering she could muster to help her son, more than 1,000 miles away from her maternal care, on how to protect himself against the diseases that were attacking him and his fellow soldiers. She had advice for Trench mouth and even pneumonia (though I doubt her ideas on this latter would be recommended!). Still, like all mom’s, she’s there to support her child, even if by letter half way across the continent.
April 1, 1943
My Dear Ebner
Sadly I read your letter about your suffering with your T.M. [trench mouth] and getting no help. Please go to it [get help]! Maybe you will pay later deeply for not tending more to the T.M. It may cost your whole teeth [from] what many tell me.
So you are on your own outlook [i.e., you have to look after your own well-being]. Better to go to soon once than ten times too late. That is true. I hope and pray that it will be changing [better?] after tomorrow’s treatment, as you said to me.
For pneumonia, have on hand strong salt water for mouth and throat…. Can you get boric [acid] powder to dissolve in water–for healing sore moth or bathing sore eye….[More medical advice]. Have some Anacin for cold always with you so you never have to wait for someone to give you help.
Oh I would like to be some help there.
My Dear Ebner,
I sent you today 5 pairs of sweat sox, 1 sweatshirt. I thought they would do some goot [for] you. There are all sorts on Madison Street, [the neighborhood business street] so let me know what you need.
In the first month you was gone, you got $1.50 check from your what, that belongs to you, so I put that in your bank book. Now you got $2.50. No interest yet because in one whole year nothing was added to it. So if you send $50.00, I put it in your bankbook. Then you have it for some time [when] you need.
My Dear Child,
How many men are there anyway if that general seen 3,000 soldiers before you? [referring to Ebner’s letter explaining how many men were sick].
I am happy for you [that] you meet those 3 men, one from Chicago, one from Aurora and that one from Tennessee. Have you got a goot pal (or is it hard there to find them?) Tell me what those 3 said when I tried so hard to find you. Was you ashamed of your Ma? But I cannot help it.
My Dear Ebner,
Now I tell you some news. I call Herman from Burny Bros Bakery on the telephone…. Will drove me there…. He went with us all through the bakery and we seen everything: downstairs, main floor, 2nd floor. How I liked it! So I said I like to surprise you with the bread and cake.
He was very friendly so I bought the bread: 1 for us (we still have half). I like it. How do you like it? Did it all come to you or did someone open it. Tell me a littel more about the package. You never said anything….
Please send me a few words when you get my packages. Is it opened before you get them?
My Dear Ebner,
April 6th I worked at the polling place as a clerk for the election of the new mayor. The first time I was so very nervous, but this time I think otherwise. I can do it already without being nervous. I like it very much. It is the first time your Dad is working steady [regularly] all the time. God be thanked. He is healthy till now. The whole week evenings they are busy in the church council to replace Miss Zinter [the choir director of Bethel Church who, we learned from several previous letters, is leaving for another job.]
Will is still going to his flight school. Lil was here today for a short time, with your letter. [Fred] came yesterday, the same short time. LaVerne [Cookie, Ebner’s girlfriend] and I talked over the telephone….
I had a surprise from Frank [Von Arx], who came in by plane and visited with us. [see Frank Von Arx’s letter on March 30, 1943.]
Now, goodnight, my Love. [May the] Son of God bless you and be with you allways. Lots of kisses.