Baker, James

Letter
Date:
April 8, 1945
To:
Mom and Dad
From:
Jim
April 8th, 1945

Dear Mom and Dad,

First of all, many thanks for the parcel of pencils and loose-leaf which have just arrived. The loose-leaf is especially good because now I can bring my poems up to date and also keep my notes as I want to keep them. It is much better than I have been doing up to now. I wish I knew how to type though. It would be so much easier. Maybe I can get Phil Cox to do it for me in our spare time. It begins to look as if we are going to have more of the latter in the future than we have had in the past. The war over here looks to be about over: for us at least. What we are to do afterwards, I can't quite see. ‘King' says Canada's participation in the Japanese War will be entirely voluntary, but I can't quite see them letting us go when we have only part of ‘our tour' done. It's more likely that they will make us finish-out our time. I should like to come home now and start my life's work, but it is so hard to try to plan anything when I am so mixed up myself. Stan is exactly the same way I am, only worse, if that is possible. However, everything will work out if only I have the patience to let it and sufficient trust in God. That is one thing I have learned here on Ops. One has to trust one's soul to God's keeping in order to achieve anything. That I learned - really, before I came here but I never practiced it because I never really knew what it meant. But when one flies as we do into the ‘face of death' and repeatedly go back again and again, one learns what faith and trust in God really means and one sees probably for the first time how small and trivial are ‘our trials and petty tribulations' compared to the great reality that is the Fountain of our Life, God's love for us. I know I have never before enjoyed such communion of the spirit as is my daily-lot here and I am only beginning to realize how wasteful indeed; how sinful I have been during the past five years! Yet somehow - though I have been so sinful, I feel that I have not been contaminated to any great degree, I do not feel unclean or lacking in nobility and honour because I know that I have at least followed the ‘thread of philosophy' that makes up your lives. I am only beginning to catch a faint glimmer of the true greatness of my father and mother, but praise God it has not come too late for me to tell them how much I love them as human beings and as people in whom I can turn in trust and confidence, knowing they have the strength of consolation. They have shown me the road that I must follow if my children are to be fit to take their rightful place in the world. Thoreau said "The cost of a thing is the amount of life that has to be exchanged for it." I know now how much you both paid for us and I know too, how much my wife and I are going to have to pay for our children's, but I also know that you two are satisfied that you made the right decisions. It is the purpose of my life to prove to you that those decisions were ‘right' by living as you have done and by teaching my children the things that you taught yours, love of one's neighbor, confidence in oneself and above all, trust and respect to God. They are your children's and through me, they will be my children's also. Now I am afraid I must close and get ready again. It's Sunday to most people but here there are no Sundays, every day is Sunday! My love to all of you, may God soon see us together again.

Your son,

Jim



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