#1351: Willa Cather to Carrie Miner Sherwood, January 7, 1937

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My dear Carrie1:

I want to write you such a long letter that I simply can’t begin. Since I last wrote you, you have lost your dear sister3 and I have lost so many dear friends. I am sending you a picture of one4 of them - she was one of the loveliest characters I have ever known, and she was so full of the old West. The first letter she ever wrote me was about the story TWO FRIENDS5 - and after that we became "two friends", Mrs. Otis Skinner and I. She lived only a few blocks from me6 and after I came back this fall, telephoned me several times asking me to come to tea; said gently that she was "not very well". I promised to go and wanted to go, but I kept putting it off. and tThen one morning I waken up and see this in the paper.

But the real purpose of this letter is to ask you to accept a birthday present which came too late. I ordered it in Montreal7 last summer and it was to reach you on your birthday, January first. Instead of that, it was sent to me January first. I was so discouraged that I have let it lie on my big desk for a week or more. Maybe you don’t give teas any more, as you used to when I visited you, but if you don’t have any use for foolish little things like these, I won’t be one bit hurt if you give them to one of your daughters-in-law8. You will never know how much I enjoyed Mary's9 long kind letter. I felt almost as if I were at home10 again.

Mary Virginia11 has had a hard summer and fall because her husband12 was ill. Though his sinus operation was very severe and kept him in the hospital for a long while, he has now completely recovered. They are, both of them, just the pluckiest and most cheerful young people. I wrote you, didn’t I, that when Mary Virginia’s apartment was looted, none of the silver which you and Mary gave her was taken? It is a great comfort to me to have her here in New York2. She does so many nice little things for me and always cheers me up, whenever I see her. She has to work awfully hard, you know, and just never whins or complains. It is hard to believe that she is the child of her parents13. I mailed your Christmas telegram to her, and it gave her almost as much pleasure as it did me. She and Dick dined here on Christmas Eve. I felt very close to you all, Carrie, when that telegram came.

Lovingly to you and Mary, Willie