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#1717: Willa Cather to Mariel C. Gere, October 19 [1945]

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⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ My dear Mariel1;

It was kind of you to write, my friend of many years. This is the blow that seems to have shattered me completely. Roscoe3 and I had grown closer and closer through the years. Six years ago, after he had been so very ill, I went to California4 to be with him as much as I could. As he grew stronger, we did many delightful things together.

For the last two years his oldest daughter, Virginia5, had been working in the bank with her father while her husband, Captain Brockway6, was commander of an airplane carrier in the Pacific. She wrote me often, and always to tell me that her father seemed stronger each month and she felt so glad to be useful to him in the dreary time of waiting for her husband. There were no symptoms to tell Roscoe or us that at any time he might be leaving us. The telegram announcing his death7 reached me at Northeast Harbor, Maine8, we where I spent the summer. The day after this telegram, came a long and very jolly letter from Roscoe himself. He died in his sleep the night after that letter was posted. It was an easy way out for him, thank God, but it is hard for the people who loved him to quite realize it. I often waken in the night and think that it was all a bad dream.

You will remember the days9 we spent at Brownsville10, when the hot winds11 came and burned the whole state12 up. Roscoe was only a green lad then, but he grew to be a very fine man. And he lived just the kind of life he loved. It was only after the long hard Wyoming13 winters had begun to tell on his health that he sought the softer climate of California.

Thank you, my dear friend, for remembering me in this the hardest trial I shall ever go through.

Lovingly to you Willa