20 October 1944
US Army Air Force Base
I hoped I would never write this to you. In a little less than an hour, I’ll be strapping myself into my old plane and pointing my nose westward. I’ve seen the orders. I think it will be for the last time. And, so, suddenly I find my life stripped away, like the branches of an old, black tree. All that matters is that I write this to you.
I know that you won’t remember me. Not really. When I spent three days with you last year when you were 6 months old, and although you can’t yet understand it, I loved you more then than you might imagine loving anybody right now.
Now listen to me. This Life, know that it is precious. You’ve got to grasp it, every little whiff of it that passes by you. It…
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