41-Love Letters from Vietnam: Tim Buys Airline Tickets for Christmas Leave
Just a re-cap of recent events in the Tim and Kate story: (To follow the "episodes" from the beginning, click here for list of sequenced hubs).
1. Tim is now in AIT (Advanced Infantry Training) at Fort Gordon, GA. He's studying radios/radar equipment and is taking the tests for Officers Candidate training. As of Novemeber, 1969, Tim does not know whether or not he will be sent to Vietnam. His childhood friend in the Army was serving in Germany and there was the possibility that he would be sent to a non-combat area.
2. The issue Tim and Kate are facing in their relationship is the question of their increasing need for intimacy during his last leave and their growing love and passion through the letters they are writing and through the pain of the separation of two young people in love. Worried that they might be tempted during his Christmas leave and filled with the guilt that would bring, Kate consults a priest who suggests that the circumstances of war and their commitment to each other would justify their professing their love in the physical way they wanted when Tim came home at Christmas. The priest talks about two individuals marrying themselves and the ceremony as society's witness to a promise that essentially has already been made.
3. Kate at first accepts the priest's advise, but still has reservations. Tim, at this point, is unaware that Kate is contemplating leaving all together at Christmas time just to avoid the issue that would cause a dilemma for her conscience. Hence, Tim believing Kate has accepted the priest's view point that they in fact are essentially married, refers to her in these letters as his wife and indicates waiting for their live together. They, however, are NOT married at this point and while Tim's eagerness for his homecoming increases, Kate is plagued by doubt that "marrying each other" is the right thing to do.
4. Kate is teaching in her second year after graduating in Deaf Education. Tim refers to David who is a child who came in the middle of the first semester and is from a troubled home and is himself prone to violent outbursts and a difficult child to handle in relation to the other deaf children in the classroom who have emotional difficulties. Tim refers to CCD classes(Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) which Katy is teaching one night a week. Tim has become the obsession that gives her relief and escape!
Index to All Tim and Kate Letters
Click here for Index to all letters from Tim to Kate and Kate to Tim from the beginning of Tim's enlistment to the point of today's posting.
To Start this Love Story from the Beginning Go To The Index here
25 November, 1969
(note: this letter was apparently written two days before Thanksgiving in 1969, but Tim anticipated that it would be received after Thanksgiving, thus the reference to the past tense "was filled")
I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with happiness, my love. With my father there though, I know at least it was filled with football, which, if you have been successfully indoctrinated by our respective fathers, you will consider synonymous with them. O, my life, how I wish I could have been there. I could think of no happier way to spend Thanksgiving than with you near me. Even though we are separated by miles, every part of my being, except my body, was with you. Thank you, Kate for making my Thanksgiving a joyous one. Thank you, Kate, for making my Thanksgiving a truly thankful one. God has seen to all my needs , my joy. He sent you to me.
It’s Tuesday now, Kate, and I can hardly wait to hear your sweet voice, a voice I hope to hear, someday soon, the first thing in the morning and the last thing at night – a voice which I hear even now and one that never ceases to give me comfort. Whether I be depressed, forlorn, moody, no matter, one word from your delicate lips and my soul is filled with joy. I pray, my joy, with all my heart and soul, that I can give you the happiness you have given me.
I love you, Kate. You’re the kindest, gentlest, most loving human being I have ever met. I need you, now and for the rest of my life.
26 November, 1969
My love and my life,
O Kate, I’m sorry that my response to your honest question* gave you so much pain. I did not intend that. Please forgive me. I love you, Kate. O how I love you. I wish our hearts and minds were joined in such an intimate union that we could read each other’s emotions, so as to never hurt one another again. Our growing love has brought us closer and closer to that state. I guess the total merging of our beings will take a life time to perfect. It will take time, it will take pain. But when pain is born out of live, it strengthens that love. Our love is growing, Kate, and will continue to grow throughout the years of our marriage. Maybe in 25 years, my wish will come true. My love, that dream is what gives my life meaning.
I’m sorry for misunderstanding you, Kate. Since my entry into the army, Kate, I’ve had so many different types of people and so many strange ideas thrust upon me, it has caused me to re-evaluate myself. I began thinking, my love, if the pressures of the army seem so much for me to bear, what about the pressures of the industrial world that I intend to be a part of. If I can’t make it here, will I be able to make it there? I don’t want to be a tycoon. I just want to make life comfortable for you and our 30 children. Thank you for your faith, my joy. I need it so. I have fears, Kate. I guess the fears every married man has to meet, but with your faith and love, I am confident I can overcome them and meet my responsibilities.
Thank you. Thank you for your love, Kate. It has given me joy and happiness. I need you. Have a happy weekend. God bless you.
PS Well, may not 30 children. How about 20?
PPS. Thank you so much for the pin, Kate. It means so much to me. I will always have it with me.
27 November, 1969
I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving my love. It was so good to hear your voice and that made it a happy day for me. I have so much to be thankful for, but oh, how I wish I could have been with you today. But then, we have a lifetime of together. For every day I live, I’ll thank God for sending you to me.
Well, the way I got itfigured, you’ll get this letter either Saturday or Monday. So have a good week or weekend, whichever it may be. No matter when you get this letter, I know you have lesson planning to do. How are you coming with it? It’s not easy to trick active children into learning. I wish you luck and a lot of imagination. Did you do any more work on your pink dress? I can’t wait to see you in it. O what a beautiful sight that will be. Pink is such a delicate, feminine color and you can wear it well. Thank you, Kate, for all the letters you’ve written me. They mean so much to me and give me so much happiness. Thank you.
I want to thank you too for inviting my father for dinner. I know he enjoyed it.
O, my love, how I miss you. The emptiness I feel never escapes me. Soon, my love, I’ll be able to lose myself in your eyes; touch your face, and brush the hair from your forehead. If I could only somehow rush the days until we’re together.
Well, I guess I’d better close now. I Have school tomorrow. God keep you, Kate. Take care.
*after all these years, I don't know what question I could have asked and what answer Tim could have given me that would have 'caused me pain.' Again, everything was very intense for both of us and oh so dramatic!
28, November, 1969
It’s Friday night, my love, the start of another lovely weekend. I’m comforted by the fact that in only two more empty weekends, I’ll be in your arms. O my love, my life, how I long for the warmth of your embrace. I love you, Kate. O how I love you. My body aches to express that love.
By the time you get this letter, it will probably be Monday. I hope you had a good weekend, my love. How did it go today, Kate, free of tantrums and any other ominous signs of a bad week, I pray. I wish I could be there today and have you tell me how your day was. Please forgive me for being selfish, Kate, but I want to share every single day of your life. In your life lies my happiness, in your goodness lies my hope to attain goodness.
Well, Kate, I’ve got one more test to take before the end of the course Wednesday. I’m worried about it, I may flunk it. I don’t seem to have the confidence in myself or the radio. Say a little prayer for me and think of me Wednesday, my love. With that combination, I can’t lose.
Have a good week, my joy. My prayers are always with you. Give my love to our family.
29 November, 1969
Hello. How are you? Happy and in love I hope. Well, my love, it took six hours of being hassled today, but I got my airline tickets. I would have stood on my head for six hours to come home to you. Happy news Kate, I’ll be home a day earlier than I expected. If I make connections and the flights are on time, I’ll be in Milwaukee at 6:30 am the morning of the 18th. By the time you receive this letter, it will be 16 days before we’re together, my love. Opps! Forgive me, Kate, by your method of time + 2 = less time, that will be 18 days. You know what? I’m going to enjoy being married to you. I”ll be confused and bewildered, but oh so happy.
It should be about the middle of the week, my life. How are things going in school, no more tears, I pray. How shallow and unaffected I feel when I think of all the compassion and love in a single one of your tears. Hey, you never did tell me how your speech went. Well, I know you did fine. Tomorrow’s the happiest day of the week for me, Sunday, the day I hear your voice. Take care of yourself, my love until I can.