Amanuensis Monday – From Mabel to “Friend”

I found this letter mixed in with a box of letters written by Manuel Martinez to my Grandma Mabel.  Mabel and Manuel were college sweethearts who wrote letters back and forth for over a year after teacher’s college ended.  Manuel lived and taught in Antonito, Colorado while my grandma lived and taughtin York, Nebraska.  Most of the letters in the box were from Manuel to Mabel but this letter was in my grandma’s handwriting and looks like part of a letter she wrote to Manuel but never mailed.  They continued to correspond for another six months so perhaps she received a letter from him before she mailed this and decided not to mail it.  I like this letter because it reminds me poetic soul my grandma had.  It also give me a glimpse into who she was as a young lady.

“York, Nebraska

October 1930

Dearest Friend,

       Once again I don’t know why I do but I do and I promise myself that this is the last time if I don’t hear from you again for this is the fourth one I’ve written since I’ve heard from you and why should I keep tormenting you.  There is, no doubt, a good reason for your silence.

       I try to pretend that I have given up hearing from you yet I still ask if there is any mail for me.  Sometimes I think the mails must be robbed but I know that you know my York address.  I used to think it would be nice to write every so often but it sure is H-E-double agony to be always expecting one and never getting it.  I’m not blaming you at all and I know that something is the matter.  I have done or said something to offend.  (Isn’t it just like me?)  Well, whatever it is I know that you are or were very angry (and I don’t blame you) or you have had a change of mind.  (at least a partial change, Is it not so?  It is.)

       You used to write of somethings I couldn’t understand and I didn’t ask ’cause I didn’t want you to know how dumb I really was.  Now I don’t care.  See.  One was – Love without knowledge – Is that what you say?  Well whether you do or you don’t anyway – ‘Love without knowledge‘ What does it mean?  Is it like a very deep love I have seen – A girl I know, knew and loved a man too and he swore to her that his love was true.  She’d ne’er professed hers because people would say ’twas better for her to stay out of his way.  Yes, people talked to her, talked, preached and sang; preached of ‘love with knowledge’ until her head rang.  They’d tell her the wrong and they’d tell her the right till her very soul knew an endless fight.  Her heart or her head – now – which should choose?  They kept on in turmoil till she had the blues but was her love false or was it true?  That I keep wondering same as you.  Why did her heart hurt when he wasn’t glad?  When he didn’t smile why should she be sad?  Why should she long for a letter a day when her ‘once on a time lover’ was far away?  Why does she sit and dream of him yet when it was so easy, she tho’t to forget. (Nix, never) She didn’t make him love her I’m thinkin’ just now but he did make her love him and I can’t tell you how.  Now, he has forgotten, Dear Father above pray calm the poor hearts that have known but pure love.  Dear Father guard over our hearts in this life and keep us from all earthly turmoil an dstrife.  The wintry blasts of earth may come and uproot the flowers of love and to the four winds of the earth throw each tender shoot but even then the severance of fleshly ties unite thought, me thinks, more closely to God for the struggling heart is supported by love until it ceases to sigh over the world and begins to unfold its wings for Heaven above.  Our love then is not vainly poured forth even tho’ it meet no return or we think it doesn’t.  “Thru love our natures are elevated and enriched” So comforting but awful hard to ‘carry on’ at times.  Oh yes I rave on and on but I promise you —– Gee if you really are trying to forget I mustn’t keep this up.  I would be a friend forever but even at that a friend isn’t necessarily a pest.  Perhaps a friend should let a person think & not keep bothering.  I feel that you are having a good time and I certainly don’t begrudge you anything like that for I have been anything but a cheering friend the last three months.  Can’t say I’m having a good time but I guess life is what we make it and I must suffer for my own follies.  I hope not forever tho’.  But even at that it isn’t necessary for my friends to suffer with me so from this minute I am going to “right bout face” and change the scowling wrinkles on my brow (which you have not seen_ to lines of laughter and am going to pretend I’m gay anyway.  ‘Laugh it off!” And since I don’t seem to hear from you (whatever the cause)




About Rosanna Ward

Rosanna is a devoted mother of four children, two of which are homeschool graduates. She currently homeschools her 11 and 6 year old sons. Rosanna is a homeschool graduate and a graduate of Oral Roberts University: She grew up in Tulsa and has been homeschooling here for the past eleven years. Rosanna has loved family history for as long as she can remember and love genealogy for the stories of her ancestors.
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2 Responses to Amanuensis Monday – From Mabel to “Friend”

  1. Now, that is interesting that you have family from York, Nebraska. My husband also had family that lived in the area.

  2. Rosanna Ward says:

    My ancestor’s were pioneer families in York County. Still lots of Tracys’ there and some Ruslers’ also. I just did a family family reunion in Bradshaw last summer! I love the area – although I live in Oklahoma now.

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