Aug. 17, 1998
I want to thank you for your lovely letter, and Poems. I surely loved them! I hope your mom told you why I couldn’t answer right away. I was in the middle of something very, very important. I’ve read your letter many times since receiving it, and your poems over and over again. Your poems many times brought tears to my eyes because of their intrinsic sadness. You really have a great talent, Heather and I hope you never stop furthering this gift. You have a profound and deep understanding of things so rare for someone of such tender years. It is evident in your poems. I will treasure them always.
I find one poem, and think this is my favorite, but then I go onto the next and think, no this one, and so on. But if I had to choose one I would choose ‘Recitation’ because it tugged at my emotions a little more because of your Uncle Leland, knowing first-hand about a “pain that won’t let go” and how often have I heard the echo of my heavy sigh as I whisper his name. I hope you never stop writing poetry, Heather, no matter what. Don’t let unimportant things distract you from it. But I don’t think you will let anything deter you from it. Your poem ‘Don’t Say Goodbye Without Leaving’ reveals you’ve matured beyond your years. I love your line “I have my own home now. A place inside me, that can endure”. A lot of people far greater in years never learn “Happiness” isn’t something you can buy. They keep searching when all the time happiness was in that place inside.
Last night your mother called–it wasn’t long distance anymore–and told me you might be coming home. That would be great!
We have had no summer here at all worth speaking of. I would not have believed it if I didn’t see it. It’s not been too much fun this year. Reagan has been kind of sick since May. Then I got him a lot better on Natural Rearing because I read that the pet food industry is allowed by the government to use diseased animals because that was one way to get rid of a problem. THEREBY CAUSING ANOTHER!!!!!! It just made me sick. He got into Ed’s vegetable garden and ate the roots of the red cabbage plants Ed had grown and Ed had just fertilized them. The fertilizer goes right into the roots and has phosphorous in it. And he got sick so we thought it was from that. He’s over it now, but his legs are so weak. He’s a few months short of 14 and I guess that’s old for a dog. I give him bone meal and everything but for a while when he ate the cabbage roots he didn’t want to eat at all for a while, but that’s good. Animals know best. I hope to build him up again. He’s lost one tumour he had on his back from healthy food, but he still has a problem with his tail. Maybe I’m just fighting old age, but I’m not giving up.
We haven’t done much this year. Uncle Frank has some illness, but is not doing badly. Aunt Alice is doing fine, but she’s busy seeing after Frank and her place. They are not in Fla. now but probably will go back there sometime in the winter.
We had lunch with your mother a couple of times at the Snoqualmie Golf Course. I sure like that place. It’s so peaceful. Fourth of July Sandy and her boyfriend and Jason came out and it was nice having them here.
I don’t know where the time went–no summer worth speaking of and here we are already facing fall. I’m glad to hear you’re looking to go to college. I think learning is everything. I think it’s so much fun learning new things.
I thought after having to write all this summer I was going to throw my typewriter out the window. But I will at least try to finish my short stories (2) that I was writing on. I was never satisfied with anything I wrote, but after all my letter writing these last few months, where I had to have a final draft, I think I learned something: There’s always and will always be another way of saying something, and that you just have to settle for one or you just don’t have anything.
I admire all the work you did writing your poetry by hand Heather. That was a lot of work. You have a beautiful handwriting. So Heather having learned that I have to get it down on paper and settling for one way, rather than agonizing whether I couldn’t do it better, you might eventually get to read one of my little stories.