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

Diner and cars, 1921

April 8, 1944

Between this world and the next

Dear Nicholas,

I saw my father today – or rather thought I did. It was out in the street and he was walking into the general store. I ran to him crying, grabbed his arm, he turned around and it wasn’t him. Up close the man didn’t even look like him. What do you think that means? Maybe I do miss him. Maybe I do love him despite everything. Part of me wants to think I did see him, that he was a ghost. I never believed in anything like that before, but it was strange. The feeling, it was much more than just mistaken identity.

I think I’m still looking for the father I’ve always wanted. I can’t lie, there’s a part of me that hopes he’s still out there and will come back a changed man. When that man turned around today, though, all I felt was relief that it wasn’t him. I don’t know. Why do these things have to be so complicated? I haven’t told my mother. We never speak of him anymore. She acts like he never existed. Maybe it’s best that way.

Otherwise everything is just fine – as much as it can be at least. I’m still volunteering with the Red Cross but I’ve been picking up a few shifts at the diner and trying to get more. I don’t know how things are gonna work out moneywise. Father took care of that side of things. Mother’s smart but was never interested and so has no idea where to even begin. Since moving out here we learned to live pretty cheap though, so we should be able to go on doing that for some time. I don’t mind working, but the constant need for money is a detestable thing. But then I don’t know what we’d replace it with.

In the end you don’t need much money to live a beautiful life full of rich experiences. More than anything what you need is someone to share life with who understands and believes in the same ends that you do.

Yours always,


Next letter – April 20, 1944