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#0396: Willa Cather to Carrie Miner Sherwood, October 29, 1917

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⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ My Dear Carrie1:

I have been up in New Hampshire3 all fall, and did not know of your dear mother4's death until a few days ago, when I was looking over a file of Red Cloud5 papers that had accumulated in my absence. Father6 does not write to me very often, and he always hates to write bad news.

You said last summer that your mother was so changed by her illness that you felt that she got very little satisfaction out of life, and for that reason I feel that her going may have been a release for her. But I know you must all feel heavy without her. Even after her memory failed and her mind wandered a good deal, there was still something fine and forceful in her, and last fall she seemed to me as much “Mama Miner” as ever she was.

While I was in New Hampshire I was working on a part of my new novel7 in which a character very much like your mother appears, and all during September I was thinking about her almost every day, trying to recall certain tricks of voice and gesture. I have had a little of Mrs. Miner in eve almost every mother I have ever done, but this character in the new story is quite a clear little snap-shot of her as I first remember her, and I hope you will like it. I want, by the way, to dedicate this next book to you and Irene8, and I hope you won’t appearing in print along with me. It will give me a great deal of pleasure to have your names in a book of mine that will in some places recall to you places and people that have interested you as well as me. The older one grows, the dearer, and the clearer, one’s early impressions somehow become.

Please give my love and sympathy to Mary9 and Margie10, and to Irene when you write to her.

Always affectionately yours Willie Cather