Note by Maynard MacDonald

You must wonder how it is that I could resist reading it all until now; two reasons. One is anticipated pain. I miss them very much; indeed, love them more than ever. When things happen: be they insights, or news which is bizarre, or funny; usually my first thought is for the joy of telling them. Reading the letters is something that I always assumed would make me heartsore and miserable. And the other thing is Privacy. I felt that it was intrusive for me to read my parent’s intimate correspondence with each other. It felt as though it would be a violation – by me – nobody else. Everybody else can read them, fine. Everybody else is not their child. There is a biblical injunction, “Look not upon thy father’s nakedness,” which seemed to apply somehow, and of course did not when I read all of Van Gogh’s letters to his brother Theo without feeling like an intruder.

In May, something unexpected flipped in my head, or my heart. It was as if I had suddenly been given permission, and that this was to read the letters in a way that would be a far deeper experience than ordinary reading. So, I started on the journey and discovered that one can be heartsore, and yet, simultaneously happy. And I discovered that one can eavesdrop lovingly, respectfully, and that the result would be more love and more respect. I am glad I waited. Now that I am three times older than my parents were when they wrote these letters, age has become a lens of privileged understanding and experience through which I can watch these two marvelous young people unfolding.

August 2018


Dear Dordo: The World War II Letters of Dorothy and John D. MacDonald Copyright © 2021 by Florence M. Turcotte, Cal Branche, Nola Branche, and Maynard MacDonald. Copyright to the letters of John and Dorothy MacDonald and photographs is retained by Maynard MacDonald and the MacDonald family for the remainder of the term of copyright. . All Rights Reserved.

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