April 12th, 1946

My Own Darling,
Very many thanks for the three lovely letters I got from you today, they were really smashing and I am the luckiest girl in the world to have such a wonderful, marvelous husband. Remind me darling to give you more than one special kiss when I see you, in fact remind me to give you a hundred. I bet by the time I finish you will be begging me to stop. I hope this finds you fit and well darling as it leaves me but terribly, terribly lonely for you. I had a letter from Eileen this morning and she seems to be in a real bad way, her sister who she lives with has to get out of her house by the 22nd of this month. She is going to live with her husband’s people but poor Eileen has no where to go, she was hoping she would be on her way but it doesn’t seem so, you see they are very much behind with women with children and what makes me so mad is things like I read in the paper to-night saying that if so many thousands of G.I. Brides don’t apply immediately they will have to cancel shipping they have arranged for May as there are not enough of them, but maybe it will be better because maybe the Canadian Government will get the ships. We are thinking of asking Eileen if she would like to come here but you know we haven’t got much to offer her. I still say that little prayer for you each night darling, I couldn’t fall asleep without it and I thank God every night that we met darling, but it must have been fate sweetheart because I am sure we were really meant for each other and that I was born for you and for you alone. I sure do remember that evening we bought the Sandwiches and walked home eating them, great big sandwiches, we sure are a couple of crazy kids, but I’d give anything in the world if we could only do the same right now. When I was with Doris and Vera the other night we were having an argument because we all wanted to pay the bill so Doris said “I bet Rene wouldn’t mind being penniless right now if she could be on her way to Canada to-morrow” and I sure wouldn’t. Do you think you could put up with a penniless wife darling? Right now the wireless is playing “I’ll Walk Alone” and I am darling until that wonderful day until you are walking beside me. Well darling, I guess that’s the news for another lonely day without you, it’s exactly three months ago since that Friday you walked in when we looked after Dixie, do you remember? Three months without you that have just dragged along but I am hoping and praying that it won’t be long now when we can look back at these lonely months to-gether. So sweetheart until then please God soon I guess I shall just have to have patience so I will say Good-night my darling. God Bless You and dream pleasant dreams. Good-Luck. Au-revoir. Hope to see you soon. All my love to you forever.
Your everloving wifey,
Rene
I LOVE YOU (in x’s)

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April 15th, 2013

Dear Grama,
I had big plans of writing a wonderfully uplifting letter to you all about my amazing weekend retracing your steps visiting parks, museums and historical sights. When I went to write it all down today though, I got that far too familiar feeling of loneliness that I couldn’t quite shake. I wrote out a letter, telling you all about my glorious weekend, but it was a surface letter, almost like small talk. I wasn’t being authentic, or real or even honest. I literally crumpled it into a ball and stopped myself just before launching it across the library. I turned the page in my notebook and wanted to burst into tears because of the fact that I, yet again, wanted to scream off the rooftops that I was “THE LONELIEST PERSON IN LONDON!!!” – (a wee bit dramatic, I know). I even took a break from the library, went to the park and passed every free bench to sit in the only one of the bunch with a person sitting on it. I engaged. I conversed. I connected. We all know that works for me.
It was when I got up and made my way back to the library that I realized I was utterly BORED of my loneliness story. I was sick of feeling this way and was NOT going to write a letter about it to you. It’s seems like a waste. After a quick pep-talk with one of my favourite people on the planet, I came to the realization that all that was needed was a shift.
Wanting to stay on the TRUTH train, I realized that along with this loneliness, there are other truths that are WAY more powerful to feel. Like the fact that what I truly miss about Adam are all of the little and simple things that actually are the biggest and best things a gal could ever ask for. His glance. His touch. His laugh. I long for being able to walk hand-in-hand in a park, to sit and have a coffee together and run out of things to say, or silently read books together on the couch in a place we call home.
It’s the point you so often make in so many of your letters. About you showing up a penniless wife and being the happiest girl in the world. About you wanting to get in “a row” with the war brides who say they’re not in a hurry to get to their husbands, as long as the money keeps coming.
In this very moment if someone offered me a big house, a nice car, a million dollars or the winning lottery numbers, I would say an easy: nope, no thank you, not interested. The only things I want are truly the simplest things you can think of. Togetherness, an embrace from the man I adore, and a commitment to live this kind of gratitude for one another for the rest of our lives.
Thank you for teaching me quite possibly the biggest lesson I’ve learned yet. That THIS is what life is all about. It makes the loneliness worth it.
With a granddaughter’s love & admiration,
Carly
Xoxox

Ps…I just heard news about the Boston Marathon tragedy. Yet another perspective shift that reiterates what is truly important in life. Hug those you love. Xoxo

11 thoughts on “I’ll walk alone

  1. “A commitment to live this kind of gratitude for the rest of our lives.” This makes me wonder how I can be more grateful in times of seemingly unbearable sadness. How I can experience the universality of pain and sadness, and actually feel more connected to others … because we share the experience. How you can connect with grama’s loneliness 67 years later, and feel it deeply and profoundly as she may have felt it. How the media can magnify our human feelings — tragedy AND joy. Sadness and gratitude. You are giving those profoundly difficult emotions a voice right here, and allowing me to not feel so alone when I (inevitably) have those feelings. Thank you Carly, your voice makes a difference. And it makes me feel not so alone. My wish for you is that you know how much you bring people together.

    • Thank you for your kind words, Lisa! It encourages me to keep pressing the SUBMIT button on the blog. I am trying to step more into vulnerability & authenticity with every post and comments like yours keep me wanting that more for myself & the world. Love to you xo

  2. Cecile Verheyen says:

    Goodmorning Carly…just found your letter…read it in a hurry….thanks…as Always it impressed me.
    I also heard and follow the terrible news from Boston….on CNN…! Its horrible…and think of all the victims. Hope nobody from our family got involved! I don’t know! ???
    Wil read your last letters again soon!
    Hope you don’t feel loneless anymore…you surely are not!!!! I’m sure Adam is with you all the time (in his thoughts) and we all are !! Love you!

  3. Beautiful post. I think there is something really magical about that idea of ‘Yes that’s true… and what ELSE is true?’ – and you showed it so perfectly here, yes you’re lonely, that’s true – and what ELSE is true? I love seeing this modelled here in typical Carly style – warm, loving and authentic. Looooooved it, thanks for sharing

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