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#2193: Willa Cather to Roscoe Cather, April 22, 1942

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⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ My dearest Brother1:

Aren't we a pair to draw to? Just as soon as I heard that you were sitting up, I myself retired to a hospital5. I don't fail to see the humor of it, however. I am getting out from under now, and yesterday boldly went forth and had my hair washed with no ill effects. When we first heard that you were ill6, pretty much everything went wrong. Edith7 had various woes and I have various woes, but now we are both getting straightened out.

A long time ago you wrote me such a dear letter trying to explain Elsie's8 erratic conduct.9 In that letter you struck off a great sentence. My mind has vibrated with it ever since. You said: "We must take each other as we are." That doesn't sound very profound, but it is profound. If all families lived up to it there would be a good deal more peace in the world. I really think the Miner family10 lived up to it. But ever since I got that letter I have been ever so much nearer, and more tolerant, to all my kin.

Jack11 wrote me such kind and comforting letters while you were ill. Indeed, Jack was never at fault. It was I who was at fault, because I dragged him into a kind of world that he was not fitted for. I did that not so much because I was ambitious for him (this is really true), but because he was at that time very unhappy at home. Jim12 and Ethel13 were both using him like a little hired boy. Jim was building a house for himself on the Crowell14 place, and Jack was doing all the work - pretty heavy physical work. This is just a word of explanation because I remember I spoke to you rather hardly of Jack. I do not feel that way now, and I never shall again.

I expect you are finding, just as I do, that getting well is rather ⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ slow and tedious work. There are lots of friends here2 whom I would like to see, but haven't yet the strength to see people, so I have made a game of having my four o'clock tea every afternoon with Winston Churchill15.! I don't think there is anybody on earth who knows how better how to get every possible pleasure out of every single day, from his first egg at breakfast to his last highball at night. I find that an imaginary tea with him, meditating on his unfailing buoyancy, really does me a great deal of good. I am sending you a little book16 which I got from the British Library of Information, and I hope it will amuse you as much as it has amused me. His speeches are too long and too many for me to remember, but these little extracts from the speeches one can remember - and the mere vitality of them helps one along.

My dearest love to you both17 Willie
FROM CATHER 570 PARK AVE.3, NEW YORK CITY2 Mr. R. C. Cather1, Colusa4, California. NEW YORK. N. Y2 APR 22 1942 2 PM