Like a wild beast in a cage

This is Part 6 in a series of letters written by my grandparents to each other in 1945.

In a letter written a day before this one, my grandfather refers to some time that he showed up unexpectedly at my grandmother’s house (and I assume her husband was there) and how upset he was. But then he goes on to say, “My dearest one, I love you so much it hurts. And what you have done to me hurts but I am trying to forget. But as long as I know you are in his arms, I can’t. But let me take you in my arms again, let me hold you close once more, let me know that you will be mine alone and I’ll forget it. It won’t be necessary to forgive you for I shall forget that it happened after I met you but think of it as something that happened before.”

And then he writes this letter, as though nothing like that happened at all:

26 July 1945

My dearest darling Frida,

Tonight it is quite hot and I am sitting in my room in my pyjamas writing this letter to you.

Darling, I heard some news today that might mean a great deal to us. I heard from a man who studied law in New York that it might take a year and maybe three for us to get married if my wife secures her divorce in New York. So, I am going to wait for word from the lawyers I wrote to and if that is so, I shall have to make arrangements for my wife to go to Reno. Then, if she goes by November 1st and you get your divorce in December, we could probably be married in January. It would take a little time for me to get permission but that’s only two months. On the other hand, if it takes only six months in New York, I’ll wait for that since then I could make arrangements to marry you in March, right after the divorce is final.

I heard today also, from the captain, not to make plans yet for my visit on the 17th. He wants to think it over. However, the chances are very good that he will let me go. So, you can still count on it. If I can’t make it, I’ll let you know in time.

Darling, I love you. More than you could ever realize one person loves another, I love you. I used to think that a love like mine could only be found in the authors of romantic novels. But now I know that it can be true.

If I can’t see you on the 17th, I know I shall go crazy – I’ll be like a wild beast in a cage – snarling and biting at everybody. However, I’ll be happy knowing you are alone.

You know I’ve prayed to God for you. And he has answered. You will be mine. But God is showing me that you do not come lightly. There must be some suffering. The month of July is a month of suffering and the uncertainty of where and when I’ll see you next time is suffering too though of a minor nature.

Darling, couldn’t some way be arranged so that if I should drop in unexpectedly I can find you easily? I know that if you had your own apartment, you’d arrange for me to have a key so that whenever I got in, I could go straight there. But until then, what?

Dearest one, I need you so. My mind is so ill at ease (especially now) that if only I could have you near me I’d be happy. Oh, God, why must true love always suffer like this?

After we get married, I fully intend for you to live with me wherever I am. And, as soon as possible, for us to go to the States. After a short while there, if you don’t want to stay, we’ll go where you want to go. But I want you to see America – I want you to believe there can be a country that one can appreciate fully when one is away from it. I know you’ll agree.

If there were a thousand ways to say I love you, I’d say them. If there were a million things to do to prove it, I’d do them.

You are everything to me – my whole life and until death, I’ll always be.




2 thoughts on “Like a wild beast in a cage

  1. Reyna,
    Enjoy reading your blog. Please remind me, are you Keith’s daughter and Raymond’s niece. I was a good friend of Ray’s and think of his great love for his wife in light of his/your wonderful family history.


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