Baker, James

Letter
Date:
April 30, 1942
To:
Mom
From:
Jim
April 30th, 1942 - Ward 3

Dear Mom,

Parcel. A huge one came yesterday and I am enjoying it very much right now because as you can see from the address, I am still in hospital. (The old address is still the correct address though). Everything was in beautiful condition and there wasn't the tiniest flavour of soap in anything. The soap will be very handy when I get out of here though. I don't need it right now because the hospital does all the laundry - except my socks, and for that I use the hospital soap, so it is not too bad. The apricots are all gone - I never even waited to boil them up, just ate them as they were: very nice too. I am sitting here surrounded by food right now as Mary sent me a parcel of cake the day before yesterday so I have an abundance. We live rather like savages - feast today and starve tomorrow, although that isn't quite right either for we certainly never starve at any time. We get a craving for sweets occasionally, but not always. Mary is coming down to see me on Sunday so I hope you don't mind if I give her some of my things. She and her mother have been so good to me in the past that I know I could never repay them no matter what I did. I'm going to take Mary all over this place on Sunday. It is in its glory right now and, though it is very wild and has an uncared-for look about it (as all the gardeners have been called up) that only adds to its attractions I think. I have never seen such a carpet of daffodils anywhere as there is in the lawn of the English garden. They have gone wild and grow everywhere - battalions of them! Rank after rank they stretch as far as the eye can see: a yellow carpet. And there are quite a few narcissus and irises among them. And where they stop, the bluebells begin: and so a blue carpet is spread-out before your happy feet...the whole country looks like a patchwork quilt of vivid living colour! I have never seen flowers growing so profusely that they colour the ground and even blot out the green!!!

I have just had a letter from Aunt Bessie at Killarney and she is complaining about her old age creeping up on her but otherwise, she seems to be alright. She still takes part in all the parties and goes to the dances. She also had a tobaggan party not long ago and she prepared all the food for it herself! She must be wonderfully active for it seems I can remember she had grey hairs when I last saw her.

Now Mom, I am enclosing a letter which Mary just sent me a few days ago. It has in it the essence of all the inarticulate things that I have thought about for months. If ever I am in the position that this boy was in I want you to read that letter again and realize that this is how I also feel. I would have it no other way. A life without adventure is not living at all...it's stagnating. And men were never meant to stagnate. I hope you will have the courage in fact, I know you will. I trust you and have faith in your ability to understand how I feel about this thing. I know I have often caused you many a heartache, pain and anxiety but I can say truthfully, that never since I left home, have I ever done anything that would shame you or myself. So I will continue: living in the principles you and Dad have given me.

I guess there is not more I can say except "Love to you all".

Jim



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