Standing at the window, he was buttoning his shirt, dawn had just started, reaching red/gold across the pastures.  A knee-high mist surrounded the old Cottonwoods around his house. It was very peaceful.

His wife was sleeping, he smiled.

Thinking back, it had been purely chance, absolute, purest happen-stance:  He had run into a guy in Viet Nam who had handed him a picture of a beautiful girl, with an address, he had started to write her, and she had answered.

Letters across an ocean and half of a continent had turned into a life line between heaven and hell.  A guy from New York, a girl from Calif. half a world apart, who could have guessed?

Letters…old school words on pieces of paper, put into an envelope, with a stamp, carried by people around the world.

Now, I’ve written letters, series of letters, that have allowed me to recover my sanity, but I can only imagine that series between him and her.

He didn’t really know what she knew about then, he didn’t really remember what he had said, but she had held the line.

He had survived the mud, the blood, the bodies, the bugs, booby trapped whores, dead friends, the absolute, all inclusive, total insanity, he had held onto that line of letters, and followed it home.

Letters from hell to a pretty college girl in central Missouri. Letters from hell to heaven, letters from heaven to hell.  Who would have thought.

She had held the line.


They had married, and had three sons, and a daughter.  Two of the sons now ran and expanded the business they had started to pay for it all. They still squabbled as only brothers can do. His daughter was an award winning teacher in Virginia.  He liked Virginia.  His oldest son ran a similar business in Australia. He liked Australia too.

She had held that line.

He looked around the house, the pictures, the little things that made it a real home, nick-knacks, souvenirs, pictures of the grandchildren, books.

His wife slept, she was still beautiful.  Amazing.  She had held that line, so had he, but really he had always known he would.  He had always known she would too.

“Come on Dufus… we’ve got cows to feed” he said to the dog as he pulled on his coat.

The dog was already at the door.

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