This is the twenty-seventh of 87 letters exchanged during World War II between Nicholas Salvatore and Elizabeth Galloway. For more see Nicholas and Elizabeth.

Troops marching through the snow

March 31, 1944


Dear Elizabeth,

I realize it’s been a while since I’ve written. I’m exhausted all the time. Everyone talks about getting used to the sound of distant (and not so distant) guns and bombs but I don’t believe it. I feel every one of them and sleep little. Sometimes it feels like the days never end – like it’s all one long, unending day. The one respite was your package. It was delicious. I tried to savor them but after the first bite I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I shared them with a couple of the guys but ate half of them myself. It was amazing. You are amazing. I wish I could’ve been in that kitchen. The smell must have filled the entire house. I closed my eyes as I ate them and pretended you were here. I relished every moment and every mouthful. Thank you so much.

Spring can’t come fast enough. I was going to ask you what your favorite season was, but you haven’t experienced them since you were a little kid, have you? We get all four seasons in Chicago. Spring’s my favorite. Winter and summer can be brutal. Sometimes spring only lasts for a week or even a couple days, but those are my favorite days of the entire year. Spending all winter frozen from the inside out, bundled up in layer upon layer, and then one day the sun shines and you walk out and can smell it in the air. I don’t know who I’m praying to, but I pray for spring to come.

I also pray to sleep.



Next letter – April 8, 1944