Baker, James

Letter
Date:
April 2, 1944
To:
Mom and Dad
From:
Jim
April 2nd, 1944

Dear Mom and Dad,

Your parcel came today at noon and it is lucky that it did because tomorrow it would have been too late, and it is in no condition to stand the long trip Overseas. But now that I have got it, I can put it in my kitbag!.

I was not able to get down to see Sadie at all because they sprang this upon me an hour before I was to have left the station on my way down to Moncton. I had arranged to fly down by plane, but had to cancel it all at the last moment. Both she and I were very disappointed as you can imagine. I phoned her up from here, but we didn't say very much. I guess we were afraid the operator was listening. I think she was nearly crying too. It must have been an awful shock to her because I had made all arrangements to meet her on Saturday. I sent her the ring by registered Air Mail so she would have got it by now. She and I have decided to get engaged; so now she is my fiancé. I guess maybe I had better explain what happened three years ago, because I don't suppose you really know.

When I went Overseas, Sadie and I were not engaged or anything, we merely had an understanding that we would see how we felt when I came back. We made an agreement that if either wanted to, he or she could break everything off. Well Sadie did, she married Ken McGrath and two weeks after they were married, he went Overseas and was missing after only one operation. He remained missing for over a year and a half and then - just two weeks after I had met Sadie again, she got the government notice that he was presumed dead. The reason for the telegram which you got is now obvious. The reason she wanted to talk over the engagement was that Ken's mother - Sadie's mother-in-law, does not yet give up hope of Ken being still alive and it has upset Sadie a little. But we have decided to go ahead anyway because she feels sure he is dead, else she would have heard long ago. The plane was never found, just disappeared.

Of course when Sadie wrote and told me the first time that she had married Ken, it was a terrific shock to me because I loved her ever since I first met her. And then I met Mary and she gradually made me forget Sadie, until I came to love her. But I never completely forgot Sadie, as I knew I should now that she was married. I was more in love with Mary's mind and spirit than I was with her person. She has such a beautiful mind! But as soon as I met Sadie again, I knew it was no good, I still loved her as much as I had ever done and though I tried to fight against it for months, it was no good. I had to tell Sadie at last. It is probably just as well because Mary never did love me beyond friendship. We are still friends and I think we always will be, because she and her mother have been so closely associated with the happiest years of my life and they form strong ties that will forever bind us together There, now I have explained everything and I hope it has set your mind at rest Dad. You see, she never let me down as you seemed to think. Rather, I think I let her down by speaking so quickly. After all, she never knew me very well, well enough to know whether she really knew me or not, and certainly I never told her all the little things she needed and wanted to hear. So, I personally blame myself for what happened and I learned a great lesson from it. But now we are together again and I am certain this time that it is for keeps.

I have told Sadie to try to get to White Rock to see you if she can and she has promised that she will if she can get a compassionate posting to Winnipeg to be near her mother who is not very well. But she has also said that if she cannot get to Winnipeg, she must go home on her leave because her mother would be terribly hurt if she didn't, and I think you can understand that. Sadie has always been very close to her mother just as I have been close to you Mom, and her mother is still rather anxious about her being in the Service. I must confess I was too, because I have seen so many nice girls who were roughened and coarsened by Service life, it seems to have its mark upon most of them. But the only change I have noticed in Sadie has been for the better. It has brought her out more, has stood her on her own two feet and given her a broader, better outlet on life, and has proven to me that she is genuine and good. You know I have always said that because a girl who comes from a good home where she has been protected and cared for is good, it doesn't mean that she has a good clean heart. It is only when she gets away from the protecting influences of her home and comes in contact with the bad things of life and then can still be good, clean and straightforward as she was before, then and then only does it prove anything to me. Sadie is so to me now.

Well Mom, I guess you'll be wondering about parcels for me won't you? Well as soon as I get Overseas, I think I'll increase my allowance to $38.00. Save as much of it as you can but please, do not hesitate to use it if ever you need it. Send me a one thousand carton of ‘Sweet Caporal' cigs. a month, as I want to give some to Mary and my other friends. When you send me parcels, please don't worry too much about them. I quite understand how hard it is to get cakes, candy and stuff. If you send me shirts, send me good ones - size 15 1/2 neck if they are pre-shrunk. My foot size is 11 if you want to send socks. I have enough wool ones for awhile, I don't use them except when I am flying. I always wear black ones with my shoes. Soap would be very welcome too, I prefer Lux or Camimile. I guess there isn't anymore, so I will say ‘Goodbye' for now. Write here till I get my new address: it will be forwarded.

My love,

Jim



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