I got your letter of 24 May yesterday – in which you told me of Florence, and honestly, darling, I hardly know what to say. I can well imagine how difficult it was for you, dear, to write the letter. I reread your statement telling me she had died – over and over and I just couldn’t and still can hardly believe it. It doesn’t seem as if she had half a chance. Meningitis isn’t so often fatal these days as it used to be. Did she get penicillin? What was the final diagnosis – I mean – what type of meningitis did she have?
My Lord – what a shock to Phil and the family! I’d like to write my condolences – but I just didn’t know Florence or Phil well enough. I was getting to like Florence – thru her letters. They were straightforward. I didn’t know about their having had a son who supposedly died with the same disease. I’m glad, darling, that you weren’t exposed – although I suspect that exposure would have very little effect on contracting the disease. There’s something deeper than that involved. It’s a terrible thing – and fundamentally – the one person who is taking the biggest licking is Phil.
A funny thing occurred in the past several days. I hadn’t heard from you in 4 or 5 days and yet mail was coming in. One afternoon I got to thinking of it particularly, and a peculiar wave of fear came over me – that something must be wrong. I thought about it awhile – and then pushed it from my mind.
Well, sweetheart, I can’t think of anything more I can say now that can help me express myself more adequately. I’ll stop at this short point because there’s nothing more to say in a letter of this sort. By now I hope the nerves of most of the family are a bit settled. I hope, darling, that you are O.K. yourself. I would have liked to have been home to help you take it a bit more easily. Be well, sweetheart, for me – and take care of yourself. Love to the folks – and