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#1754: Transcription of Letter from Willa Cather to George Allen Beecher, March 12, 1947

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W S C Dear Bishop Beecher1:

I just want to tell you how often I have thought of you since I had your son3's telegram which told me such sad news4. There is nothing in this world that can comfort one for the loss of a lifetime companionship. I saw all that after the death of my father5. My mother6 was simply never again the same person, although she always had great courage.

I have delayed writing to you because I like to write very personal letters by hand and I have lately had a severe sprain7 to my right hand, which makes the use of the pen impossible for the present. I am glad that not very many weeks before Christmas, I did snatch the time to write you and Mrs. Beecher8 a Christmas letter9 (with pen and ink), while my hand was normal. I had a feeling that I wanted to write you both by hand - - -It was a kind of homesickness for you and all your work, and the visits I used to pay Mrs. Beecher when you were out on your diocese. I don’t have many correspondents in Red Cloud10 now, but Carrie Sherwood11 and Mrs. Creighton12 have always been true friends, and so have Sidney Florance13 and his wife14. I have been trying to help the hospital board make a pleasant hospital of the dear old house15 where my father and mother were so happy for many years, and where they made the house dear to their children16 by beautiful memories. W S C The house was sold without my knowledge and had for some years a rather degraded existence. But now kind and truly friendly people, like Mr. and Mrs. D. B. Burden17, are doing all they can to make it a homelike hospital. Even some of the poor little sewing societies out in the western part of the county18 are selling hand-pieced quilts and raising little contributions for the hospital. Some of the country people have written me how kindly and hospitably they were always entertained by my mother when they went to town to do their shopping or to have their teeth fixed. Those memories outlast the short term of human life.

I pray for you that you may have strength to bear the loneliness which faces you, and I am always devotedly and gratefully yours,

WILLA CATHER