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Luxembourg,
21, February, 1945

Hey Darlings,

How are you tonight?  I’m early, you know, but I have a big day tomorrow and I’ve had a pretty good sized one today so I’m going to try to get to bed early.  It seems weeks since I got to bed before midnight.  My paperwork takes more time than it should.

I received no letters today, only a printed from the Fourth Ward enclosing a servicmans budget card and some interesting news.  I did so want a letter from my honey.  I love you, you know.

So many things have come up that almost forty-five minutes have passed since this letter began.

My darling, I’m so thankful and proud that I have the most precious wife in the world.  Did I ever tell you how beautiful you are.

You’re lovely, you will never change.  If only I could see you now.  What a feast my eyes would have.  How glad I am to you I took my vow to love, to cherish, to give you happiness.  Please always know, my darling, of wives you are the best.

Honey, knock me a kiss.  I’ll say goodnight, sweetheart.  Never forget how terribly much I love you.  You’ll always be my whole life.  Take care of yourself and Rick.  God bless and protect you each minute of each day.

Your loving old man, Dewain

I’ve been sick since Friday, so this little burst of sweetness from Grandpa was such a delightful comfort.  It was short – and I finished typing it before my mint tea cooled enough to drink.  I’m off to add honey to my tea.  I am so grateful for the great love my grandparents shared.  Around these parts it’s such a burst of sunshine on a cloudy day.

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Luxembourg,
20, February, 1945

Adorable ones,

I love you, with all my heart I do.  And if you want to send that package with the label ‘ feed every three hours and rock in-between times,’ why, go right ahead.  I’ve got a couple of boys here in my headquarters section who I’d assign to look after him and I’m sure he’d be even more spoiled than he’s getting right now.

I received your letter written on the sixth of February today.  I can’t get over the consistent fast service.  I’d better beat on my head because the  next ones will probably take a month or six weeks to get here.  Anyhow, it’s swell while it lasts.

I did get the letters off to two of our sisters tonight before I received a call to take care of some unpleasant business.  If it hadn’t been for that, I’d have finished all four because I had time scheduled for it.

What’s this story about slipping water in on him in place of milk.  Let’s watch that.  After all, he’s kinda small to defend himself and doesn’t have his old man there to stand up for him and insist on milk.  Remember that Silvesters are born sleepy and hungry and both must be taken care of.

He better be enjoying his baths too, because I don’t.  Not that I wouldn’t if I had a chance, but anyhow, I’m not enjoying them now.

So Iven’s in Belgium?  Well, what do you know.  Everyone gets to Belgium when I leave.  What a life.  I guess I’m destined not to run into anyone I know.  Though I probably wouldn’t know Iven if I did run into him.

Hey, George, have you seen the fox lately?  Which way did he go?  What’s news?

Oh, incidentally, speaking of news, I received also today a Parker home newsletter.  It’s probably quite an item.  I hope sometime I have time to drop Uncle George a note.

My eyelids are about ready to drop.  I pride myself in being the last one to bed each night and the first one up each morning of this bunch of mine.  I seldom write to you until everyone is gone to bed except the guard and I’m usually washed and shaved before anyone else gets up in the morning.  Listen to him brag.  Really I have my selfish reasons.  In the first place I can’t concentrate to write to you until they’re all retired and in order to avoid the rush, I wash and shave early.

Say, what a gaffer I am.
One would naturally think that I’d got on a tram;
so I’ll quit this right now,
even forfeit my bow;
and get me some sleep while I can.

It gets worse each day.  I’m sorry. I love you anyway.

Yours, Dewain

I am sorry it has taken me so long to get back into the swing of things.  I’ve just kind of let these letters slide over the last couple of weeks.  But it feels so good to be back.  I feel so blessed for the connections that have been made, from people who knew Grandpa during the war, or the family history stories that I’ve received through these records.  And I know these experiences are a real part of Grandma and Grandpa’s lives – even though they didn’t talk about it much, and we didn’t know enough to ask more about it.

I’m sitting here, in my home on a rainy Tuesday morning . . . and can only imagine what life for either of them may have been like 64 years ago.  Nothing like my life, that’s for sure.  I’m glad they had friends and family supporting them through all of this.  One lesson I’m learning right now is that success comes from doing what’s asked when necessary, no matter how hard, or how weird, or how inexplicable the request may be, no matter how much it’s not something that we want to do right now . . . if we all only ever did what we wanted, we’d be like a world full of two-year olds . . . and that would be insane.

I am grateful for my family who have gone on before and for the lives they lived so that I am free to live my life.  I hope I can live to make them proud of me an my family.

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Luxembourg
3, February, 1945

Perfect little family,

Do you know there is a great big awkward guy over here who is indeed crazy about you?  Perhaps crazy in other ways too, but anyhow, I love you with all my heart.

How are you tonight?  Both of you, I mean.  I missed writing last night and the letter night before last wasn’t much of a letter.  Can you forgive me?

I just finished answering the letter I received from Dee about ten days ago.  I surely hope I get a chance to look him up.  It would surely make him feel good and it wouldn’t do me any harm.  If the occasion arises, I shall certainly grab it.

I received a couple of V-mail letters from you yesterday, dated the eleventh and thirteenth of January respectively.  They were swell.  Darling, you’re so heavenly and thoughtful.  How the Lord ever saw fit to bless me so abundantly, I shall never know.  I’m so proud of my beautiful wife and baby boy.

In one letter, you say he’s a perfect angel and in the next you say I should hear him now.  How I’d like to.  I doubt if I’d ever let him cry either without picking him up.  Be careful though.  He’ll soon be as bad as his old man.

I’m so glad he looks like the baby you wanted, though I’m sure no matter how he looked, even if as bad as me, you’d say the same.  I’m glad too that he enjoys eating and sleeping.  Caution him each day to take advantage of it.

In none of your letters so far have you mentioned knowing that I was over hear.  You should have heard, at least I hope so.  Never worry though.  I’m in good hands and the weather is really breaking up into spring, if only it lasts.

Here’s that kiss you asked me to knock you and, Honey, knock me one in return.  I love you so dearly, my sweetheart, more than words could ever express.  If only my gift of gab included serious expressive words to tell you I love you, I adore you, I worship everything about you.  You’re so fine, so pretty, so heavenly, so thoughtful.  I can never thank you enough for accepting me to be your husband.  When peace returns, I’ll try so hard to keep you happy and comfortable and make a home you will be proud of.  My love for you grows each day, if only my expression could show it.

Goodnight, my darling, sleep tonight.  Who knows, the Russians may be in Berlin by morning and the end of this phase of the war near.  At any rate, time will pass briskly and I shall be home bothering you again before you know it.

Your homesick old man, Dewain

Finally, Grandpa knows that he’s a dad.  I don’t know if anybody still has those in between letters.    My next Dewain-letter is dated 2/20 and we get to start our Zola-letters with a 2/18 letter.  I’m not going to try to match up the letters as received and answered – but I will post them by date.  So Grandma’s next!!!!  I can’t wait to hear her side.

Thanks for being patient in my getting these letters posted.  I hope to share some family history about some of our Rudd ancestors soon.  I received an email from a gentleman who’s been doing research on the Rudd family line, and he gave me quite a bit of information.  Grandma would be pleased, because I always think of her as the family historian.

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