Just one week after Fred’s  May 10, 1942, letter to his mother, detailing the trauma of his dismissal from the Kingsbury Ordnance Plant in La Porte, Indiana,(see War & Bigotry & following three posts) he was back in Chicago. Perhaps his raw emotions from that encounter made him appreciate Lil and her support more than ever. It’s a turning point.  Read on!

May 17, 1942

Fred told me at 2:30 a.m. Sunday, 5-17- really that he loves me and as a matter of co-incidence – one split second before he did so, I murmured, “Je t’aime,” which of course, he did not understand.

Ever since then we have been happier than ever before in our lives. Oh, we’ve been doing some lovin’ since 5-16-42. Fred tells me the nicest things––that he loves me more all the time. I get sweeter as time goes on; that he’s never loved anyone like he has loved me. That he has wanted many things badly in his life, but never anything half so much as he wants me.

I, too, love him as I have never loved anyone before, barring none. He is the first man that could make me feel “excited.” I never tire of kissing him and vice versa.

It’s amazing how much we have in common—

Horse-back riding
etc. etc. etc. 

horseback Tacoma pub librWe have never had an argument since our first date 8-15-41. So if we won’t be happily married, who will?

I love the naive certainty of true love. Surely this list of mutually-shared hobbies should be enough to get them through all the vicissitudes life will throw in their paths! 

It takes me back to the letter my grandmother’s boss, Mrs. Jickeli (Yuh-KAY-lee), sent to her (Lisi)  after Lisi ran off to America to marry my grandfather in 1911. Mrs. Jickeli wanted to warn Lisi against unrealistic youthful expectations. In the post, Your Uncertain Fate, Mrs. Jickeli wrote to Lisi two months after she arrived in Chicago and married my grandfather, Josef. The letter was dated December 10, 1911:

 “…you are now a wife and so will be the victim of the painful and changing nature of life.” 

Not the most positive message to a young bride, but then, as in the Jewish wedding tradition, in which the groom crushes a glass underfoot to remind the happy couple that joy must be tempered, Mrs. Jickeli was sharing with Lisi a dose of realism. Lil, too, would find that even for the happiest of couples, time throws its curve balls. 

Perhaps it’s better we don’t know all the outcomes of so many of life’s decisions—or we might be paralyzed with inaction! 

Lynn Palermo at the Armchair Genealogist is hosting a month of the “Family History Writing Challenge.” If you haven’t yet begun, click on latter link to get started writing your family history. Lynn has been kind enough to ask me to write a guest post for her blog for this upcoming Friday, February 10th, so check in at her blog to pick up “Seven tips to meet the challenge.” 

Next week, to celebrate Valentine’s Day, I’ll be posting the cute card Lil sent to Fred 70 years ago and a reprise of the 101 Year old Valentine from Josef Gartz to his sweetheart, Lisi.