Letters from Mom

This letter, dated 10-07-57, was written a week (ish) after the birth of Nellie’s seventh child (that’s me!) from her home in Michigan.  Her husband, John, is in Illinois teaching college.  I’ve lightly edited the letter, snipping details about others that wouldn’t hold up to public interest.  Evidently my dad had been sick on his last visit home.  What strikes me with this letter is how “other oriented” she is. 

My Dearest,

Though there is not much in the way of news, I do want to get a note to you, so that you will know that all is going well – and that we are wondering how you are making out.  I did hate to see you leave when you weren’t feeling a bit good, but I felt that you wouldn’t get much better around here – so hard to keep down.

The baby continues to eat and sleep – imagine, not one crying period yet.  She even slept through the night feeding on Saturday night.  Her cold is a little worse, but really not bad.

David [my oldest brother] is home today with whatever you had.  No temp, just a sore stomach.  He was fine when he got up, was helping me with breakfast, when all of a sudden he turned white and said he didn’t feel good.  He was on the davenport, but when the bus came he said he felt O.K. then and went to school. But at 9:30 he called me up and I had to go after him.  I asked the Lord to make the gas last for that trip as I had no money with me and it registered zero yesterday when I took the children to S.S. I don’t know how long it has been there.  David is sleeping now. 

Danny [my youngest brother] came in from seeing Jimmy [next brother up from Danny] off on the bus and grinning said that the driver said he was cute!  He sits for periods of time on the footstool by the baby’s bed and watches and waits for her to wake up.

Don’t feel that you have to leave the homecoming to get home this weekend.  I would love to have you here, but I feel that I have had more than my share of your time so far this school year.  And I have certainly appreciated having you home and helping out – but if you can stay and get a little done on your classes for Monday you had better do that, as preaching here will make you a very short night’s sleep.

Going to sign off now, don’t want to miss the mail carrier.  I miss you here – really seems lonesome without you – just a few weeks like we had in Sept. spoils me.  But since I love you so much I know that it will always be that way – I don’t get used to you being away, I just wait for you to come home.
                                                                              
                                                              All my love,

                                                              Nellie

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9 thoughts on “Letters from Mom

  1. Truly beautiful — these letters must mean so very much to you! It seems that each year, as my own sons get older and closer to leaving home, I find myself spending time with memories of growing up. Blessings, Laurie

  2. He was on the davenport, but when the bus came he said he felt O.K. I just had to come and say that word just brings back so many memories for me. I haven’t heard the word “davenport” since my Nana died about 5 years ago.What a precious jewel those letters from your mom must be to you and your family. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  3. So much unsaid that I could imagine: having to get the kids all put together (one w/ a cold) to drive up to pick the one son up from school–so tiring! And I wonder what she means by a “crying spell”? Just the fact that she did all this w/o complaint and even suggested that your dad stay on at school over the weekend!?! WOW! So unselfish.Don’t you wish you had a photo of Danny watching you sleep? Just the thought brings a smile to my face!

  4. Beautiful.  How special to have these words and thoughts from your Mom. I, too, can’t wait to read more.One of my mom’s aunts saved the letters Mom wrote her over the years and gave them to my Dad after Mom died.  He has told me some of what was in them and I hope to have them some day.  I have one or two letters from Mom that she sent me at church camp.On the lost art of letter writing, I can still see my Mom sitting at the kitchen table every morning when I woke up. She’d been awake an hour or more already and almost every day wrote a letter to someone (her mother-in-law, two or three aunts, etc.).  I guess my email correspondence with others is a poor substitute, but better than nothing?

  5. How wonderful!  Would you mind sharing a bit about your mom?   Was she one of those sweet spirits who was naturally relaxed and soft spoken?  (That may come through from her letters and you may not want to spoil it with an outright answer.  If so I understand)  I just struggle so much with who I am at my core.  I so desire to be one of those soft spoken mothers whom nothing much bothers and appears to just have it all together.  Always thinking of others without feeling sorry for themselves.  How do I get there??!  Thanks for sharing this!  🙂

  6. Thank you Carol for sharing this sweet bit of family with us. What a lovely letter. I felt like shouting, “Hurray for Nellie, now there is a wife and mom to fashion oneself after.” I love how she tenderly told the news, and yet freed your Dad to do what she knew he needed to do. How rare is that these self centered days. It makes me want to go buy some stationary.

  7. What a sweet sounding mother!! You were blessed, for sure   The tone she has in her letter reminds me of my grandmother, the one person who helped me see what unconditional love is like, thus helping me understand a relationship with my Father God. i do hope you keep sharing the letters!

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