Letters from a Soldier to the Wife He Left Behind



Read how Annie's story began....Born into a life of hard work,
English housemaid Annie Wood arrives in New York City in 1911 with
her wealthy mistress.

Wide-eyed with the possibilities America has to offer, Annie wonders if
there’s more for her than a life of service. Annie chooses to risk
everything, taps into courage she never knew she had, and goes off
on her own, finding employment in the sewing department at Macy’s.

While at Macy’s Annie catches the eye of a salesman at the Butterick
Pattern Company.

Through determination, hard work, and God’s leading, Annie
discovers a hidden gift: she is a talented fashion designer—a pattern
artist of the highest degree.

As she runs from ghosts of the past and focuses on the future, Annie
enters a creative world that takes her to the fashion houses of Paris
and into a life of adventure, purpose, and love.
When a socialite from the nation’s capital embarks on a journey to
the Wild West, her life is changed forever.

A setting populated by hundreds of laborers, outlaws, and Indians is
hardly the place for a wealthy general’s daughter. But Josephine
Cain is determined to visit her father, who supervises the day-to-day
work involved in the grandest ambition of post-Civil War America: the
building of the Transcontinental Railroad.

Life with the railroad is far from the proper life Josephine is used to,
and she faces deadly gunfights, harsh weather, and vigilante

She is torn between the West and the East; between her privileged
upbringing and the challenges of a new frontier; between the pull of
the suitable beau her parents approve of and an attraction to a rough
but charming Irish railroad worker.

But if Josephine is willing, she just might find a new life, a unique
purpose… and true love.
NOTE: This is the story of my mother and father. Dad was in the
South Pacific during WWII. He and Mom didn't see each other for 2.5
years. He didn't see my oldest sister until she was over two years
old. All that connected them were letters.  In this poignant memoir,
my mother shares the letters from her beloved Lyle, including
historical points of interest that correspond to the letters.

Mom and Dad celebrated 70 years of marriage in 2012. Dad died
later that year, but his "Dearest Marguerite" is still going strong at
age 95.

                     November 1, 1943. The South Pacific.
                  Lyle Young wrote to his dearest Marguerite:
"We did not choose this war. We accept it and put every effort into it
because without it we would lose the life that every man wants. The
men know what they are fighting for They are fighting and toiling for
the purposes they know are right. The purposes vary with each man,
but they basically all add up to the right to live, worship, and work in
peace. Each man has constant dreams of home, his loved ones, the
neat little house, the neighbors and his church. He now realizes that
those are the most important things in life and without them there is
nothing. Through sweat and blood the vision of an honest world
grows brighter."

Letters were their only contact for the thirty months Lyle served in the
Army Air Corps in World War II. Decades later, as Marguerite reread
the letters, they rekindled vivid memories and made her realize what
she held in her hands was history a personal history shared by many
who lived through that difficult time. Dearest Marguerite is a poignant
account of the sacrifice and patriotism experienced by countless
soldiers and their families.
            The American Dream thrives in
                   1912 New York City

Annie Wood, the housemaid-turned-pattern designer
in The Pattern Artist, jumps at the chance to design
her own clothing line when a wealthy New York
couple offer to finance her endeavor. Joining the
project is Annie’s new husband, Sean Culver, her best
friend at Butterick, Maude Nascato, and a mother
figure, Edna Holmquist.

Annie and her colleagues give up their careers, risking
everything to follow a shared passion: clothes that are
both fashionable and functional for modern, busy
women in 1912.

Personal and financial setbacks threaten to keep the
business from ever selling a single dress and test old
relationships and new romances. No one said it would
be easy. But the promise of the American Dream
holds a deep hope for those who work hard, trust
God, and never give up.