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#1018: Willa Cather to Dorothy Canfield Fisher, September 30 [1930]

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My Dearest Dorothy1:

Your letter, telling me of your mother3’s death, reached me in Paris4 on the day before I sailed for home5. Isabelle6 and I happened to have been talking of her the night before. I am sorry on your account, but almost glad on your dear mother’s. She was too keen and alert to linger in a clouded state—when she had a good day she must have felt that something had broken or given way, and that would have distressed her. When I last saw her, after her trip 'round the world, she was entirely and vigorously herself, all her colors flying. I thought she had not changed in the least. I am glad I can remember her like that. But these vanishings, that come one after another, have such an impoverishing effect upon those of us who are left—our world suddenly becomes 3so diminished—the landmarks disappear and all the splendid distances behind us close up. These losses, one after another, make one feel as if one were going on in a play after most of the the principal characters are dead.

I have been in France7 since the middle of May and am now on my way8 to Quebec9. From the middle of October I shall be in Jaffrey N.H.10 for some weeks and perhaps I can run up to see you some day.


My mother’s11 condition is unchanged. The doctors tell me she is so strong that she may live for five or six years in this state. Goodbye, dear Dorothy. I’m so sorry that you’ve had this break to face, but oh I’m glad for your mother and for you too that she was not punished by a long and helpless and utterly hopeless illness.

My love to you, from a full heart Willa