Favorite Excerpts from Maggie’s Letters Regarding Marriage and Family
As I said in my last post, Maggie wanted few material possessions in life. Being a wife and mother was her ultimate goal from the time she was a young girl playing with dolls. She didn’t want a career and had no problem with “wife and mother” defining who she was. During our marriage, when the role of the woman was changing dramatically in the United States, Maggie often questioned why a woman wouldn’t be totally satisfied with being a mother and homemaker. She would often get angry when the feminist movement seemed to belittle woman who were content with being married and staying home to care for their children. Following are some excerpts from Maggie’s letters in which she expressed her feelings very clearly.
Letter dated February 24, 1967 (Maggie was 18 years old and had recently dropped out of nursing school because her father moved out and she couldn’t afford the tuition and the expenses of living alone.) She had accepted a job as a secretary and wasn’t content.
No matter what kind of a job I’ll ever have, I’ll never be happy. I could clean house and put up with kids for a lifetime, but that dog-eat-dog, pay-day, rush hour world just isn’t for me.
Letter dated September 25, 1967 (Maggie turned 19 in July/67). She shares her thoughts about the meaning of love and the part it plays in a successful marriage:
How foolish was I to consider marriage when I have so little to give to it. Not too long ago, love meant attention and security. Imagine that as a foundation for marriage!
I find it difficult to avoid being a home-body. The love and warmth that marriage can bring would be heaven to me, but I had completely forgotten about the person I’d be sharing this heaven with.
Surely a man wants warmth and love, but now I know that it takes a little more than that to make a marriage work and more important to make a man happy.
Letter dated October 8, 1967 (In a letter sent a week letter, Maggie continues to express her feelings about love and marriage. She wrote earlier that she didn’t need a big home or a lot of money because that would probably require her husband working many hours:
I need someone to love. I need to be a wife and that’s not possible when a husband works 16 hours a day.
I want to grow with my husband and, in turn, we two with our children.
Two people bonded by marriage are not automatically “husband and wife.”
And Maggie always had such a way of expressing her thoughts - so honest and down to earth - that she made me feel that I meant the world to her.
In her letter dated September 27, 1967 she wrote:
For the past week, the days have been sunny and yet, I was rather depressed and somewhat bewildered because I received no word from you. Today, it was cold and rainy, and all the way home from work I was glowing as if I could feel the warmth of your letter sitting there on my stairway. I just knew you’d come through for me! Thank you, Dennis. I’ve missed that love of cold, rainy days when the chill is succumbed by the presence of someone I care for. How much I missed depending on someone who I can trust. Only you could have made me feel this way today.