(A letter from Dorothy to Evelyn)
I was in class when the telegram came. I left immediately and went to Mo. Valley. As I didn't have your address down there, I asked Gus to notify you. I wanted so much for Melvin to come back that I always believed that he would. I have been living in the future ever since he left, hoping and planning for his return. I can't believe that it was the Lord's will that he died--it just happened. Thinking back now, I feel that he believed that his chances for returning were small. Out there his religion became very important to him. He spoke of it often. It is difficult to accept what has happened. There is some comfort in the pride that I feel. Out there they are selfless. He spoke of that feeling when he was home. Somehow, in their training they learn to forget themselves and think only of what they have to do. They are truly heroes. What more can any man give?
He will seem nearest to me when I hear the music that he loved so much: Beethoven's 5th Symphony, Begin the Beguine, Martha, Findlandia, and many many others. I have never ceased to marvel at his inspiring qualities: his appreciation for the above-mentioned, his reading, his honesty, his love of life, etc. He makes me feel very humble. I have been a very lucky person to be so close to him. Elaine will have much of which to be proud. It is awful to realize that she will have no memories of him. He was so proud of her. I have wished so many times that I had called her Melva Jean.
When he was home in March we had a picture taken of the three of us, but it was miserable of me. I wasn't very strong when I began the school year, and the work was almost too much for me. As a result when he came for those few days my hectic existence showed up in my appearance. Mel's picture was good, so I had his made into a big one of which you received one. Gus insists I look fine and is having 4 group pictures made, one of which will go to you. I'm not very happy about it, and I'm hoping you will keep it hid. It undoubtedly looks like me, but I can look better.
Love, Dorothy & Elaine