No letter from René today, but here’s the letter René Sr. wrote on January 20, 1944 in response to his son’s letter dated January 10.
My heart bleeds for you, knowing what it has and must mean for you. It has gone on for so long, it does not seem possible that there could be any other way. You must have felt as if the tide had suddenly come in and then gone out, washing everything you loved and possessed right out from under your feet.
With everybody in the 59th who watched the whole affair from its inception, it was all the more difficult to make the necessary announcements & explanations. Too bad Lois waited that long to tell you how she felt about the whole thing. Unfortunately, many a girl falls in love with love itself, but thinks that she loves the man who was nearby when she fell. At least until she wakes up.
Sometimes it is only long after. Sometimes after marriage. Sometimes after they have children. So you are in one way fortunate indeed. I need not stress that. You no doubt have had plenty of time now to appreciate that fact and it may well be that some of your pals have expressed themselves accordingly.
There are so many who fall because they think it is love that it is better not to kid one’s self. Lois may in the course of time look over the field for a few years before she discovers it was not “acting.” But do not lay too much stress on that.
She may have had a swell time at Ord, a still better time chasing up to New York, but when she got overseas, she might have found it sort of tiresome being obliged to forego what parties the other goils may have enjoyed, if you were on duty and unable to go, and eventually she may have discovered that it was the good times she loved more than the chap who took her to so many. It is a not uncommon thing.
But I know you are big enough to buck up and take it like a big man always does. I’m sure we will always feel that Lois is a swell person; that it was swell for those of the family to have met her, though did not really know her. Regardless of present and future, it was a chapter in your life that must have been a pleasant one and provided many months of great happiness. Do not feel that it need be an unpleasant memory. On the contrary. It was swell while it lasted.
Too bad it was not for many, many years. But we now turn a new page and start a new chapter, and however often one may go back in time to come, and thumb through the old pages and old photographs, one should do it with fond remembrances; it’s just one chapter. Chapter 1 for the girl maybe, but they usually have a string of Chaps. I know full well how you feel. Time heals all wounds. But don’t on the rebound take any shoulder that is offered upon which to weep or to use as a resting spot from which to pour forth your sad experience. God, the instances I’ve seen of that would fill an entire drawer of my files.
I’ve got to go out right now. Mother is not in and tonight I will show her your letter.
But I shall tell nobody yet for a while. Premature statements here of your disengagements might produce a serious epidemic of paroxysmal tachycardia in young females who had the ailment before but whose permanent bradycardia has existed since you left Ord and has persisted to-date. I do not want to cause such epidemics.