Saturday, April 26, 2014

On the Occasion of Our Third Anniversary

Dearest Bob:

I'm sitting at the edge of the Boeing plant airfield, bundled into one of your old Pendleton plaid wool shirts against a typical blustery Seattle spring day. You'd no doubt laugh watching me try to scribble in this diary with one hand while I tug at my flowered scarf (you remember, the one you gave me back in college) with the other. I fear both the scarf and I are the worse for wear these days, but it's all for the war effort.

As strange as it seems, writing as though I were actually sending you a letter keeps the hope that you are somehow still alive burning in my heart. It's just a tiny ember, like one of those specks of golden light that used to spiral up from the gray late-night ashes of our summer campfires.

Alas, most of the fire in my life now comes from the destruction that I have a tiny part in creating. Of course it's all meant to end the war as soon as possible, but it's painful to read each day of the hellish infernos our Flying Fortresses are making of Europe's ancient cities. In return, the bombers and their crews are tumbling from the sky at such a rate I often wonder as I'm working how many weeks each immense, complex machine I labor on will last once it rolls out the hangar door.

Goodness, this talk is hardly a fit subject for an anniversary letter! I should dwell on the more cheerful things you'd no doubt want to hear of wherever you are. The rhododendrons are blooming in huge balls of pink and white blossoms. The first swallows are back, bounding through the air on warm afternoons. Stormy is shedding her winter coat, much to my consternation on laundry day. She sends you a hearty meow!

Well, I must return to the factory. The next round of Fortresses is warming up on the tarmac. Soon they'll be off into the big white clouds that punch like fists into the blue April sky. I remind myself that you are somewhere under the same sky, looking at the same sun and the same moon that shine down on Seattle. I believe with all my heart that we'll someday be looking at them together.

Your loving wife, Rosie.

Monday, April 7, 2014


I suppose I should be grateful things aren't worse. The pain's receding, the nurses are decent and my bed's near the window. Sometimes little formations of B-17s pass across my square of sky, reminding me that Boeing is quite capable of sustaining Flying Fortress production with one less girl.

Time's on my hands and on my mind. The doctor says I'd likely recover faster if he had that new "Penicillin" drug, but like everything else desirable from milk chocolate to men, it's at the front, so I'll be recovering as nature intends.

I've pulled out that diary, after tucking it into a drawer as soon Betty and the rest of the girls disappeared in a laughing burst of hats & gloves. I need something to do besides brood about Bob and watch the bouquet from that loathesome cad Carl slowly wilt. I have no doubt it's from him. Every glance at it brings back his words about getting on with my life and facing the truth that Bob will never come back. What makes me angriest is the realization that Carl's words hurt me so because I fear he may be right.

I look out the window again. A flock of bombers passes, metal geese against a white sky. What have I got to say that anyone, including my future self, would want to read? I guess that's not the point. Nurse says I should just write because it will make me feel better, and not to worry about tomorrow. It will come soon enough in its own way no matter what I do.