Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Excerpts: Love letters

[My mother, Sylvia Gatins, saved many of the letters from my father, both from behind enemy lines when Francis Gatins was a prisoner of war during World War II, and afterwards, when he was isolated in upper New York state to fight a deadly case of tuberculosis.]

July 5, 1943 (from Berlin): "All I wish to tell you is that I love you. I am absolutely incapable of adding an adverb to that verb, or to tell you that I love you more than before. All I know is that my greatest times of happiness, of fun, are always tied to your presence. A future without you would seem eternal ennui."

September 12 & 13, 1946 (from Saranac Lake, N.Y.): “It’s very pretty and cold today. But the house is really sad without you. Yesterday, your bedroom still smelled of you; today, it’s a sad room as anonymous and dead as an hotel room. I think of nothing more but to repeat: I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you … "

Undated, from late September, 1946 (from Saranac): "I’m always thinking of you – you’re the only one I have fun with. I love your spirit, the way you see things, your laugh, the blues you get in the fall. I have so many warm memories of you that we could spend years remembering them. But especially, you are always new to me. I’m really looking forward to seeing you as a mother. Because your dominant strengths are your freedom and your kindness. That’s what makes you so desirable: Your native ease for making love. You gave me your mouth one day, so simply, so kindly and with such a good, open heart. The same way, one night, you gave me the best gift in the world, your entire body, all the sweetness of your skin, all your perfume ... "

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