9/4/61 11:00 PM
Your most likely asleep now; it is 1:00 AM in Chicago. But I have a few things to say and this
is a good chance since all the house is sleeping. I've just finished reading your letters and rereading
those I've read before. I thought for a few minutes and the collection of words, ideas and little, lost
thoughts is the result.
Twice in my life I've felt that I've really been loved by someone - first by Albert (Shatzel) and then
by you. My mother, I'm sure, loves me, but about people like that I cann't truly feel the joy of loving
and being loved. Loving is the most wonderful thing that can happen to anyone, it is in part a gift
even to be able to do it and to be able to receive it. And two people in love with each other as we are
in the very perfection of life. Love does not remove suffering from life but it makes the suffering worth enduring.
Your loving me is the most important thing in the world; there isn't anything I wouldn't do to preserve it.
It it were necessary I would leave here tonight, - this second, to be with you and truly I wish I were.
But obligation of more than a year ago (before I met you) have brought me where I am, and I'll finish them.
But nothing, nothing, nothing, is more important to me than you.
I'm so completely concerned with you that everything I do, or see, or feel, or hear, or think reminds me of you.
Perhaps the best way to tell you how I feel is to say that all of your letters speaking about how you feel
about me I could have written to you. It surprises me greatly that I recognize almost all of the feelings
you express. I love you so that if I ever think there is anything wrong I nearly go mad. I love you so
that I would give up anything for you and be happy to do it - I would give up anything except my love for
you. And I would suffer anything to have your love and to be with you.
I certainly hope that you don't plan to stop writing to me. I hurried here chiefly to get your letters. If you stop,
then you must not know quite how much they mean to me. Just to see, "I love you", written on a piece of paper
and feeling that it was really meant is worth a long days struggle - a long life's struggle - is indeed worth
my life itself.
When I was younger there were often times I wanted things, but never before and never again shall I want anything
like I wish to marry you. I want you to be completely selfish in loving me. I want to be liked or loved by
others only if you love me first.
I don't know how most boys would feel when they ask a girl to marry them, but when I said it I meant that I wanted
to be with you for the rest of my life. To be able to help you when you would let me, to comfort you, to make
you happy. These things and ever so much more I want to be able to do forever. There is in the world at least
this one boy who wants more than anything to have you, Miss Mary Van Deusen, as a most important part of his
life's dream. To have and to hold, 'til death do us part.
A future without you is blacker than anything I thought it to be before, for now without you all the joy of my life
would be gone; and the future bad before would be infinitely worse then.
If much of what I say sounds redundant, forgive me; but if it sounds one-ten thousandth as good as your
say, "I love you," then you won't mind my lack of new words.
I've taken some pictures of homes that we've seen - things that I liked or thought you might have some ideas
about. Arizona and California are beautiful states and of the fifty I think it likely that one of these
we'll one day call home.
Ah, my loving little wife, I miss you so! There are times when I really hear your voice - I hear it above
all the other sounds about it. It's an odd almost mystic sort of thing like the Sirens. On the way west I
heard voices, most of them were singing poular songs, songs I had heard on the radio - songs that either you
or I or both of us liked.
Don't worry too much about me although you may find that as hard as my not worrying about you. My dear little
wife, take care of yourself; whatever hurts you hurts me a thousand times more.
My life is yours, treat it as yours and love me, love me, love me.
All the love that I have is yours.
P.S. We will leave Tucson late Friday.