Grandpa’s birthday was September 11th and I am amazed that this letter made it from Manila to Trumbull before the actual day. I am sure that Grandpa felt a burst of pride in raising a son who could write this sort of letter to his father.
David Peabody Guion
September 1, 1945
Der Dad –
I’m back again, but it’s only a short note to wish you a very Happy Birthday with many, many more and happier ones to come.
The more I think of my good fortune in having such a kind and loving father, the more I feel that I can never come anywhere near to repaying you for all you’ve done for me – and the rest of us.
As you’ve mentioned yourself, you had to be both Mother and Father to me. As far as I’m concerned you’ve filled the shoes very nicely and I don’t feel that I’ve missed too much in losing my Mother so young. There have been times when I’ve missed a Mother’s care, but when I think back on those times I find they were when you weren’t near.
We had our arguments and misunderstandings, Dad, but most of them have been at the office where I’ve still got lots to learn. Sometimes I get to thinking of the things I’ve done and said to you and I feel pretty awful inside and wonder how you ever forgave me. But you did, and in doing so I may have profited more than if you hadn’t.
If you will recall our discussion – I think it was the night we were coming home from the graduation exercises at Edison School the same year I graduated from Center School – on the way parents treat their children, I think you will remember that I said I had often thought of the things I could talk over with you that the other kids couldn’t talk about with their parents. It meant an awful lot to me and I’ll never forget it. It gave me a feeling of pride that I knew the other kids couldn’t feel.
Mother, before she passed away, asked you to take care of all of us – I’m sure that she would be satisfied with the job you’ve done. I only wish that if I were ever in your shoes that I could do as well.
These are all the things that you probably know I feel, but I think they should be put down in writing – just to make it official. Why I waited this long to put down in writing all this, I don’t know – but now, on your birthday – is as good a time as any.
Again, Happy Birthday and Lots of Love,
Tomorrow I will post another letter from Dave to Grandpa written a few days after this one. Censorship of mail has been stopped which gives Dave a chance to say some things which, until now, he’s been afraid to mention. It’s