Max (my Grandpa) was a soldier in WWII. His life influenced a large circle of people. I think of him often and the different ways he changed my life for knowing him and holding him in my eyes as an example to follow.
Max honored his mother. All of his letters were first addressed to her before anyone else. He also closed every letter with "your son" showing to me how highly he thought of being her son. He said, "you can always get another sweetheart, but you can never get anther mother." He consistently thanked her for any littler thing she sent to him during his service in the war, and was always sending her off some trinket or souvenir - showing her he thought of her often. He encouraged her to take little vacations or fix up the house with the money he sent home to her every paycheck he received during the war. When answering her questions about what exactly he was doing during his service he always took the time to assure her he was "being good" and not participating in the smoking and drinking that the other soldiers were doing. He loved her cookies! He politely begged her to send them to him and then bragged about how tasty he thought they were and wrote of the fuss the other soldiers made of them. Max treasured his Mama.
A few words to his Mama from Max's letters, written between May of 1943 to Dec of 1945
"As soon as I can get too or have one of the officers do it for me - it will be a day or two - I'm going to send you a forty dollar money order and I want you to put it into a living room set. You know a couch and nice chairs for the front room. See, I'll get the good out of the nice couch on long evenings with Rosalie when I come home. This money is honest money that I have worked for Mama, so don't be afraid of it. I am keeping over twenty dollars for my own use and what I am keeping is the dishonest money. Now Mama, if you don't use the money as I say or in some useful way, I'll start smoking and drinking wine. And by sending this money to you to use will be just that much I won't gamble away, so Mama you had better not dare put it away for me in any other way than that set."
"All the guys that had bragged about their mother's cooking have all took down their signs and you are the new queen Mama. Thanks lots. I didn't expect to get any so soon I'll bet you used up all your sugar making all that candy and cookies for me. You shouldn't have made so many."
"My Dearest Mom,
I want to wish you the happiest Mother's Day ever and that by the next one, I'll be there to wish you a happy Mother's Day.
All My Love,
"I don't see why you and Dad don't take some time for Lakeside fishing or somewhere. You all need a little trip and rest. I always hear of everybody else doing that but never you."