Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A Voice from the Past

Recently I ran across a letter to my mother from a friend of hers who lived in Deer Creek, Indiana. My mother grew up in Onward, Indiana, not far from Deer Creek. This farm woman sent a crocheted doily she had made along with her letter. It is a darling piece of crochet I inherited and have displayed in my home for several years.

My mother's family home near Onward
The letter came from the very heart of this friend and thanked my mother for a letter of comfort she had recently received from her. As I read through her letter I could actually feel the sorrow she expressed at the recent death of her mother. She spoke of the tombstone finally being in place at the Hopewell Deer Creek Cemetery and how she visited there each Sunday.

I’m telling you about this poignant letter because I can’t bring myself to publish it even though I went so far as to type it into my computer. Somehow it seems rude of me to share a letter full of such heartfelt meaning that wasn’t written for me to read. 

My mother’s friend spoke of how difficult a time she was having coming to terms with her mother’s death and how blue she had been. She spoke of how crocheting in the evenings helped her feel more calm and relaxed. She talked about her husband and how ill he had been, but was still trying to work alongside his son to keep the farm going.

She wrote that the men were picking corn long hours every day. She said she and her daughter would love to get over to see my mother, but since the men were working so hard, they were trying to help them as much as they possibly could. 

I felt the strain the woman was under and also the sincerity of her words. My mother’s letter had been a God-send for her in her sorrow, and she expressed her gratitude simply, but quite eloquently. 

I decided I wanted to share the letter with my husband as he was working on a project in the garage. As I began to read the letter aloud to him, my tears would not stop and that greatly surprised me. I said, “Why am I crying? I don’t even know this person.” My husband said, “You’re crying because hers is a voice from the past.” 

I searched on, and I actually found a person who I’m 99% sure wrote this letter. I discovered her and her husband’s last name and their 1986 grave site at the Hopewell Deer Creek Cemetery. 

I hope I’ve given you some sense of the lovely message this letter holds and why it speaks so clearly to me even though it was written so very long ago.