My friend, Lisanne, (better known as The Bathtub Junkie!) has begun a new venture of selling notecards with her photos featured on them! Wishing you the BEST, Lisanne! To kick off her new “store” on Etsy, she offered a giveaway at her blog: http://bathtubjunkie.net/?p=1063
Lisanne asked that folks write an entry on their blog regarding letter-writing. And, when I thought about letter-writing, I immediately thought of my maternal grandmother. My grandmother was fabulous at writing….
The Last Letter
Several years ago, my mother called me to say that my maternal grandmother, Nellie Kester, had passed away. It was a sad day, as I loved my grandparents so much. (my grandfather had passed away about four years before my grandmother)
Quite some time after Grandma’s death, my mother received a letter written by her. We found out that the police had taken the letter when my grandmother was found dead in her home. They looked the letter over to make sure there was no mention of foul play or suicide regarding her death.
Grandma was found “asleep” in her chair shortly after midnight. One of my cousins lived nearby and found her. Grandma had written a very lengthy letter to Mom on December 5; the letter sat around for a long time, not getting sent, so on December 23, she wrote an addendum to the letter….
I had never read Grandma’s letter to Mom before, and as I read it the other day, I smiled as I could almost hear her voice as I read. Grandma talked about her washing machine, dryer, lawn mower….she chatted on about my cousin taking her to the emergency room and she found out she had the flu. She talked about things so casually and made mention that she was 87 1/2 years old!
One of the most outstanding characteristics of Grandma’s writing is that her writing at 87 1/2 was amazingly legible! All of her writing was easy to read….she had crossed out a word or two, but it took no special deciphering to read each carefully written word.
My grandparents had moved to northern Florida years before, and because the nights could be chilly, they had a woodstove placed in their house to provide some dry heat. The night that my grandmother passed away, she had loaded the stove and sat down in her chair and died shortly thereafter. The death certificate stated that she was found at 12:20 am.
My mom was the oldest of four children and it seemed so awesome that Mom would be the recipient of Grandma’s last letter. So profound. Grandma loved writing so much and my mother must treasure that last letter, even though it contains no pertinent information implying her impending death, nor mentions anything “outstanding”.
A simple life, lived simply, and a rather uneventful death, alone and quietly passing from this world….
Mom had brought Grandma’s last letter, as well as a death certificate from the state of Florida, for me to see.
As an aside, I laughed as I looked at the death certificate…..having grown up in a very Swedish town where everyone’s last name seemed to end in “son”, I was somewhat surprised to learn that my grandmother’s mother’s maiden name was “Anderson”! I am not certain, but knowing that Grandma was of Danish bloodlines, perhaps one of my relatives misspelled that name….it might actually have been “Andersen”.