My love, my darling children!
Gradually I’m developing a desperate craving for a sign of life from you. The last letter I received was from 20 February--it reached me while I was still at my troop formation on 26 February. Since then, I haven’t received anything else from you. I’m sure you’ve written me in the meantime, but I went to Paris first and then got here a week later. My troop still hasn’t forwarded my mail here yet. Maybe they’re waiting on my impending return!
I’m doing pretty well. The vegetarian food - no meat - peace and quiet, and warm weather have done me good. Since yesterday I’ve noticed some relief and a decrease in pain. I really do think that this dietary cure will completely heal the ulcer. I still have acid reflux and pains between 4 and 5 in the afternoon. I get hot chocolate or milk and a few cookies when that happens. Then I feel better. I generally sleep through the night until about 5:30 am. At 6:45 I get up to take a shower. Around 8 I lay back down in bed until the doctor’s visit is over, and then I’m up and about until a few minutes before 12. I eat lunch in my bed and after my nap, I’m out of bed from around 2:30 - 8:30 pm. Then I can sleep well from 10 pm until the morning. You must be wondering why I haven’t sent you such a report before. I didn’t do that because things looked much worse at the beginning. After I was in the hospital for two weeks (until 27 February) things started to get better. I hope that I’ve also gained my weight back in the hospital.
As far as I know, the usual practice is to send the healed patients back to their troops if they’ve been in the hospital for less than 28 days. If they’re there for longer than 4 weeks, they return to the supplementary troop formation. If I’m required to go back, I’d rather go back to my own troop formation--the medical treatment is different on the front than in any other barrack. Es gibt bei meinem Truppenteil viele, die sind infolge der Entfernung von ihren eigentlichen Standort außerhalb der Verpflegung. There I would certainly be better equipped to take care of my health than anywhere else. First I’ll have to get the strength back in my legs. But you can see that I’m already thinking about the future, so it can’t be going too poorly for me.
Yesterday I sent you two little packages. Let me know if you received them. First I put everything into one package, but then it got sent back to me because it was too heavy. So I made two small ones out of it. The cream is for you. You can bake a cake out of the hazelnuts, or just divide them up amongst yourselves. Everyone should get a little something. It’s possible to get these things, it’s just expensive. I also bought something that is for you and you alone. I still have that here. I want to bring it to you myself when I go on leave at some point. I saved up for it with my meager salary. I don’t need the undergarments I sent back to you--that’s why I sent them back. They just weigh me down, since I have to take all of my belongings with me everywhere I go.
Give the children my love.
I kiss you from afar
Your Josef, who loves you