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#1534: Willa Cather to Carrie Miner Sherwood, March 22, 1941

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⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ My dear Carrie1 and my dear Friend:

I cannot write you as I wish to until I can write you with my own hand3. But in these days when the weather is very bitter and I am confined to the house4 a good deal, my thoughts are often with you, going over the long, long past which we have shared together, even though we have so often been far apart in body.

Mary's5 telegram did not altogether surprise me, because only a few days before it came I had received a letter from her telling me that Walter6 was very ill indeed. Of the wonderful care and nursing you were giving him I had heard again and again from Elsie7, and Mary, and Trix Florance8. I love to think that he died in his own home among those who loved and cherished him, and in a community that honored him. Do you know, it doesn't seem so long to me since you showed me a photograph of young Walter Sherwood inside your watch case, when you were going away to school in St. Joseph9 Mary's. I must not talk of these things to you, for it makes me cry and it will make you cry. But it is strange how, at this end of the road, everything is foreshortened, and we seem to possess all the stages of our life at the same time. The perplexities that I have with my hand and the perpetual inconvenience I suffer from it, are not half so real to me as mother10-and-father's11 golden wedding, or your own wedding day, or Douglass'12 last visit with me here. Perhaps one reason that I enjoy so much remembering these things is that this winter I have been alone a great deal — my choice. I have seen almost no one but very dear friends, the true and tried ones. Yehudi13 and his lovely wife14 came often while they were in New York2, and Mary Virginia15 has been a great help in every way. Whenever we meet she always leaves me in better ⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ spirits than I was before. I often wonder how two such selfish people16 ever came to have such a nice child.

You will hear from me very soon again, my dear, because within a few weeks I hope to be able to make plans. My general health is good and my hand seems to be making definite improvements since Dr. Ober17, the surgeon from Boston18, took hold of it. Some day I shall write Mary about his treatment. As a doctor's wife, I think it would interest her to know.

Now I have said so little of what I wanted to say.! But, oh, how thankful I am that I had those two winter months with you in Red Cloud19 almost ten years ago! I can remember those evenings with you and Walter before your fireplace, and what good advice both you and he gave me.

I send my heart to you, Carrie Willie