Letter to a Neighbor

I found a letter mom wrote, but never sent, to one of her neighbors. It’s dated August 12, 2018:

“Dear Mary. Here’s the bookmark I spoke of the other day. I’ve thought about ordering more from the Salesian’s, address at bottom of one side, but I’m hoping to be home before much longer, so I’ll wait until then. Right now I’m starting to go through things to decide what to take/leave behind. There’s a lot of the latter, thank goodness! But it’ll still be an ordeal. What else is new? I’ll trouble you no more with what would prove to be an endless read/whine, but with narratives. any luck, maybe I’ll be home again by mid-September. Sigh! We can but hope… with love,”

She enclosed a bookmark with the Serenity Prayer on one side, and a passage by St. Francis de Sales on the other. I don’t know whether the bookmark was speaking to her, or she thought Mary, who has been wheelchair bound for many years, would benefit from it.

Mom’s message is strong and fluid. She wrote, and more importantly corrected others’ writing for a living. It’s wonderful to find this piece, written less than 2-years before she passed, sounding strong in her conviction to return home (though it was a terrifying prospect), and mostly coherent. It’s a porthole view into who she was, rather than who illness turned her into.

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