Monday, August 1, 2016

Going through mom's belongings...

Going through mom's belongings ... and I found this letter, never sent.  It was one of the things I found in an envelope tucked into a corner of her purse.  The envelope is practically worn out, and many of the documents have obviously been folded and unfolded many times.  Several of the items in this envelope are either complete mysteries to me – mementos of some aspect of my mom's life that I don't know about – or they're big surprises.  Some of those surprises I don't think I'll be sharing publicly :)  Some I will probably do so at some point.  This particular letter was so worn out that I had to tape together before I could scan it. 
A letter to my children and grandchildren

April 27,1998

Tomorrow is the big "O" day [TD: "O" presumably means "Operation"], I go in to have surgery to give me two new knees and hopefully a new lease on a better life.

This letter is just in case something goes wrong and I do not live through this procedure. I fully expect to, but just in case I wanted to say a few things to you.

The most precious moments have been with family - husband, children and grandchildren. The joyful times we had camping stand out in my memory. Some of the candlelight dinners with Dad stand out in my memory.  The first summer I took all four granddaughters up to camp is one of my most favorite memories. They are so beautiful and they got along so wonderful. Seeing the enjoyment Tami, Amber and Marci gave to the old folks at the nursing home in Lincoln has got to be on the list.  Watching the little girls grow into young adulthood is almost frightening. It seemed to happen a lot faster than it did with our own children and that happened fast enough.

Watching all four of our children grow and flourish and each give to this world something wonderful. We don't have to look too far to know how special you all are and how lucky we are to have had you.

You all share what I feel is the best of both of us parents. Passing that on to friends and children will maybe do a little bit to make this earth a mite more wonderful.

You are all precious to me - you have all given wonderful meaning to my life. I love you all. I will always be with you in little ways. Hug each other - much better than fighting. Hold on to the things that are 'right' to hold onto. Don't give in or up when life seems to turn the wrong way. Always do to others the things you would like to have done to you. Always love and look out for family and friends.

When you are in Maine, play a game of cards with me in mind. Enjoy the camp as much as you are able. Enjoy your siblings and your children each and everyday.  Hug each other every chance you get - hard.

Remember the good times we have had and forgive me the bad times - please. I love you all so much.

I don't know why she signed it with an “86”.  I had no idea this letter existed.  Finding it pretty much stopped me in my tracks for today...

Update 8/3/2016: my brother Scott knew what the “86” was all about.  It seems my mom's friend (Joyce) liked to call herself “Agent 99” after a character in an old television show, and my mom called herself “Agent 86”, or just “86” for short.

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