My parents, Frank and Marion Mueller, were married in a secret, rushed wedding ceremony, on December 19, 1942, in Chicago, when my father was on leave between State-side assignments with the U.S. Army during WWII, prior to his deployment to the European theatre of war.
My mother was a nurse in training at the time, just 22 years old, and was able to keep living at nurse's housing if she remained unmarried. So, they kept their marriage secret until March 19, 1943 after she had graduated.
The two lived apart during the first three years of their marriage, except for a brief stint in San Antonio,Texas during the summer of 1944. Other than the San Antonio period, my mother lived with her parents in Evanston, Illinois, and my father was stationed at various training camps in the United States, then deployed to England, France, Belgium and eventually Germany until December of 1945.
In late 1945, when it became clear that he would probably be home for the holidays, his main goal was to get home in time to celebrate their third wedding anniversary together on December 19, 1945. It is unclear, from his letters, if this actually did occur, but there's a good chance it did -- his letters home ended in November of 1945. It would have taken him a month to return home by ship across the Atlantic, through New York, and back to Chicago. Whether or not he actually made it home before that day is a mystery, but I like to think that he did, so I maintain that that's exactly what transpired.
Dad didn't realize that he was writing a diary that his daughter would find nearly 70 years later, and publish as a set of books, but that's exactly what he did by writing to my mom each and every day of those three years, without fail. On the very rare occasions that he missed a day of writing, he would apologetically recount his experiences in the next letter to Mom. He wanted his grandchildren to know about his life (he wrote that in an incomplete auto-biography).
Today marks 70 years since this young couple went to City Hall in Chicago and secretly tied the knot that would result in our little family. In honor and memory of my parents, we are offering a free Kindle download (today only) of both volumes of "More Than Anything in the World", a set of books I recently self-published. (Volume 3, 1945, will be available in 2013 or 2014.)
Join us in celebrating this remarkable couple's love story -- download your free copy of both books today: 70th anniversary special, download both volumes of MTAITW FREE for Kindle