Note to Reader: I was going to do the letters sequentially but I'm going to break from that to post a letter about who Arnold was before the war in the words of his sister, Nora. She wrote this to Annalea directly after she received word Arnold wasn't coming back. The picture is Annalea, Arnold, and Nora.
Mother and I are at present sitting in the backyard. I hate to have her in the house all the time and it’s so gorgeous outside.
I don’t know what to say dear, but we think of you all the time so I felt I should write and tell you so.
I can think of so many things to say about Arnold’s past, such good things he did but it hurts me to write them as much as it does you to read them, so I’ll skip them for now.
The neighbors here have been simply wonderful as I know yours have too. Cakes, desserts, fresh vegetables, etc.
Until last night I didn’t let Mother see anyone. After all, it just makes it all the harder and surely the people will understand.
Mother received 14 lovely, pink & white carnations last night from Mrs. Ken Richards of Ch’town. She was Arnold’s singing teacher, Annalea, & always was so fond of Arnold- had it at her summer cottage for days on end. It was a very sweet thought on her part, especially since she isn’t really a friend of Mothers. Mother wanted to send you half of them but decided they wouldn’t stand another trip.
Letters have been pouring in- isn’t it wonderful to think you have so many people that think of you at a time when you really need them. Mother says she’ll keep all her letters & cards to show you when you come up.
Oh, time is a wonderful thing, Annalea. As the days go by we’ll be able to speak of Arnold just as if he were with us, & Arnold being such a good boy we know he’s in the right place. Whatever else he was, he certainly was good.
Everyone that comes in speaks of you & baby, Annalea.
Try to have courage dear. It was a cruel blow but we’ll have to keep going and live our lives as best we can.
Mother is heart broken, naturally, and it hurts me to see her grieve so but even at that, she’s been marvellous. Dad is taking it awfully hard- he was so fond of Arnold, always sort of pals through their golf, etc and he was so proud of him. He said to me the first time we talked alone about Arnold- quote- “And to think that Annalea never once heard Arnold sing publicly.” He really did have such a nice voice- so easy to listen too.
Well, I must stop rambling on. I could write a book. Thank your Mother so much for telephoning. She really is so thoughtful and kind. With my dislike for kissing, I forgot to kiss her on leaving but I really did intend doing so.
We washed Monday- the busier Mother is the better. Don’t you feel the same way about yourself? I know I do. Lot’s of love dear-
I’ll leave Saturday I guess. Mother thinks I should go back after staying away so long. She’s looking forward to seeing you & Barb in the Fall leaves. I guess that’s as far as she plans. The future will take care of itself.