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#2954: Willa Cather to Beatrix Mizer Florance, January 9, 1941

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⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ My dear friend1 of many years:

It is a long while now since I first heard from Elsie3 of your dear sister4's death. (I take the home paper5, but it does not always reach me when it should.) My mind was full of many memories and thoughts of you, and I was waiting for the opportune hour to write you, by hand, all that I felt. Just at that time my right hand6 was giving me a good deal of pain and discomfort. I waited for it to get better, but it got worse. (I wrote Carrie Sherwood7 what the trouble was - inflamed tendon sheath of the thumb.) Two weeks in the hospital8 have reduced the inflamation somewhat, but my hand is still immobilized and will be for some time to come. So I must dictate a letter to you, though I hate to do so. I want to send you a copy of my new book9 as soon as I can autograph it, but so far I have not even been able to put my signature to a check. I spent Christmas in the hospital, and all my Christmas cards and flowers were brought to me there. I was so glad to find a card from you among them. I thought a great deal about you and Josephine while I was there in that lovely, quiet place, seeing no one at all except the nurses. I know what a loss Josephine's death must be to you, because you two were so much together, and truly together in mind and spirit. That fact must be a comfort to you. I remember Helen McNeny10 once remarked to me: "The Mizers always seem to be so close together." The bond of brothers11 to each other and to the sister seemed stronger in your family than in any other I happened to know. That relationship was strong in my own family, but not so strong, I think, as it ⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩was in yours.

Elsie wrote me such a dear letter about a little visit she had from you and Josephine a few years ago. I could almost see you as I read her account of that call which she enjoyed so much. Her letters often bring my old friends before my eyes like that.

There is so much that I want to say to you and to Sidney Florance12, but I am awkward in dictation. When I write to the people I love, I like to do it with my own pen and my own right hand. You will both believe in my love and friendship, won't you, even though I can't put it very well into words? I had hoped to be in Red Cloud13 at this time of the year, but this miserable thumb made a wreck of my plans. Except for my hand, I have been perfectly well this fall - I suppose that was why I could not realise that I must give in, stop doing everything that I like to do, and keep the most useful part of me in splints. I cannot say at all what I want to say, dear Trix, but I love to think of you and I hope you will always think gently of me.

Lovingly Willa