#2281: Willa Cather to Meta Schaper Cather, April 13 [1946]

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⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ My very dear Meta1;

I want to tell you why I could not see Margaret4 when she and her two children5 were in New York2 for a week. It nearly broke my heart to miss her, but I was very ill all the week that she was here. This strange nervous collapse began with Roscoe's6 death. I was never well afterward. I was below normal when it seemed necessary to go in for a surgical operation. After three weeks in the hospital I came home and I tried very hard to carry on. At last I began to cry a great deal. I broke down more or completely over pleasant things than for sad ones. I really didn't dare see little Margaret for that reason. I am too fond of her; of all my nieces she has always crept closest to my heart. I didn't want her to see me when I was such a wreck.

Two weeks ago my oldest friend, doctor Taylor7, came home and took a strong hand with me. For the present he will not let me see anyone at all. Even Miss Bloom8, my secretary, broke down and is now in a hospital in Albany9. So I am absolutely isolated and see no one but Miss Lewis10. Time and being very quiet are the only things that will help me. It seems that if one has, for many years, cared a great deal for a great many people and a great many things, one suffers a kind of emotional exhaustion in the end, and has to rest one's power to care.

I have seen any friends since November, not even Yehudi11, nor heard any music. I have simply had, for the present, to cut out all the things I loved most – and I want you ll to know.

Devotedly Willie
Mrs. R. C. Cather1 Hotel Senator Sacramento California NEW YORK GRAND CENTRAL ANNEX2 APR 13 5PM Please forward FROM CATHER 570 PARK AVE.3, NEW YORK CITY2