In the Realms of Light and Darkness: eight letters from war: 7. Deanna


My darling Leon,

It is quiet here tonight. The only things I can hear are the sounds of anticipation: pages turning in Bibles, the rustling of letters being pulled from envelopes and reread, the susurration of prayers.

We know, all of us, the children as well as the women, what the next few hours may bring. We want to bring ourselves to readiness, with God and those we love. If it happens as I fear it will you may never read these words. But I will trust to God that you do, that even if I cannot send them they will be found and delivered, and you will know what I thought on the eve of my death.

It is of you, mostly. Of the many days and years we have spent together, of what we have shared and learned from each other over all that time. I know, as I write this, you are as alone as I am, facing what I face. That is something we share, too.

Earlier, before we heard the guns, there was dancing. Ancient Victor played the fiddle, Maddy Ann got her pipes and Sandra tapped her dulcimer. Pretty music, lively music. Music like that reminds me so much of life. It can be storming but it will feel like there’s not a cloud in the sky, anywhere, that the whole world’s sunshine. You say I’m a Pollyanna, thinking like that. Maybe I am. But sunshine’s beautiful, you can see all of creation in it.

Someone just began singing.

“The shield of faith do Thou bestow
When trembling we must meet the foe.

When earthly help no more availeth,
To sup with us Thou wilt be nigh”…
But it’s the last two lines that I love so well.

While earth is fading from our sight,
Our eyes behold the realms of light.”

Light has always been my realm, hasn’t it. I remember the day we married — that’s often in my thoughts, these days we’ve been apart. How the light sparkled on the white of my dress. And in your eyes. Silly and romantic me, I thought it was the light, didn’t realize it was tears. And I couldn’t imagine why you’d be crying on the happiest day of my life! Till you were about to kiss me, and you whispered: I am so happy. And the tears, they were pouring down your face! I knew then I’d married the best man on Earth, that no matter what came, I could be happy.

And I have been. I am. All the blessings God has given us, children and grandchildren. Even though we have lost Michael, to this same cause for which you are fighting in your way, and I in mine, and Charity and Faith and their children are far away — safe, thank God — we are blessed. According to our pact, I have risen each morning and thought first of how much I love you and, I know, your first thought is the same. We are, for that moment, as inseparably together as we were on our wedding day, as we will be in Eternity.

The sound of guns is growing nearer. I know they will not show mercy; they haven’t before. I wish we could have shown them mercy, perhaps it might be different. The children are frightened and I must go and comfort them. I would try to take them and find a place where we might hide. But there are too many, we have few horses, and the country is too flat and too open. We might have a few more hours’ escape, but would it be worth it, to spend what may be my last earthly hours running yet again from death instead of thinking about life. About you.

Abide with us, the day is waning. But there is no darkness. I will come to you, Leon, in the light, and

With all my love, Deanna

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One Response to “In the Realms of Light and Darkness: eight letters from war: 7. Deanna”

  1. グロリア-イップからあちこち遊歴好きで、働く関係のため、積み重ねました多くの旅行経験があり、もっと特別好きのひとり旅。「完全に慣れない環境を持って、私の考えと刺激源源が絶 Says:


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