Letter for a soldier

To Don from Bill


April 22, 1930 – February 24, 2017



Note: To Be Opened The Last Morning You Are At Sea On Going Home To The USA.
16 February 1953
Dear Don,

When I came overseas many moons ago,
 I was sent with a letter from my Mother. 
 In it she stated how on long voyages years ago,
 people were sent with ship messages.

  There was then an age of letter writing which  seems to have passed,
 except for the ghosts that may rove the skeleton 
of some long lost ship.

There was then wind in the sails 
and the creak of the boards of the ship at night.
 There could be heard the rustle of silk in women’s dresses.

 Men and women were probably doing  just as we do today 
if given the opportunity.
 That is, jumping from bunk to bunk.

Right now, right at this living moment,
 I am writing this on the usual, sunless, dull, German day 
in the office of the captain.

 In time, all our importance melts away,
 and yet as a part of history
  we remain an important factor in time.

The way you live,
 the love you have for life,
 the love you have for others and the understanding of them,
the love you have for a woman 
and your unborn children
 are of great importance.

 Whether you are ever known as an individual,
 it is the way you are
 which makes the “To Be” of a better world.

Now you are nearing home to the land that I love so deeply.
 I would want to claim that land
 in a deeper way than you can
 in your youth. 

Someday you will know what I mean. 
 Someday you will know that the earth in a bog swamp
 when you are out duck hunting
 is the cleanest mud in the world.

 Don’t ever forget that part of your life
which you spent in a foreign land.
 There were circumstances you did not like.
 They have helped to keep that mud as clean as it is.

Sometimes Don, 
I hope you are looking at that lost land 
where you like to lose yourself. 

You’ll find the air just a bit sharp. 
You will like the smell that time of year. 

Whether it is summer, fall, winter or spring,
 just breathe deeper because you are alive.
  God is in Nature and you are close to it and to Him.

  In college it would be called Pantheism. 
 I’d rather call it the awareness of Don knowing Don. 
You can call it whatever. 
 It doesn’t matter what you call it 
just so you remember when it happens
 and it will.

The sea where you read this is deep.
Your feet will soon touch shore. 
 Right now you are pipeline and lost.

 Soon the inevitable pattern will establish itself.
 You will be a civilian with all the responsibilities of one.
 To drive safely, to love right, to build a home, and to vote
 are small and important things.  
To be aware when you’re on a hunting trip 

that you are the greatest being God ever made 
is important too.

That’s about all I have to say, Don.
 This is my shipboard letter to you 
with the exception of one thing. 
The more you grow
 the more you will become aware of this.

 The older you grow
 the greater is your responsibility
 toward life,
 and the two people who created you,
 your Mother and Father.

Your friend…
April 22, 1930-February 24, 2017
My husband passed away in 2017.
In going through his special drawer for saving things important to him,
 I found this letter. 
I don’t know his friend “Meade”.
 I don’t need to know.
Although we shared 62 years of marriage, 
I didn’t know Don when he was newly discharged from the service.
 He would have celebrated his 87th birthday in April of 2017.
 His great respect for God, family and nature never ceased.
I hope you enjoyed this special letter
from “Meade”….
Photographs By Mary Anne Tuck