These letters from friends mom made while in the hospital must have been kind of bittersweet. I’m sure they built extremely close friendships, and they would have understood each other in a way that no one else could. Their shared experience would have bonded them because no matter how hard anyone else tried, it would be impossible to fully understand what life was like for these kids isolated from family and friends in the hospital. I feel for mom being one of the kids who had to remain in there after some of her friends were well enough to go home and return to their lives. Grandma talked of mom’s loneliness and I feel it in my soul even though I know I don’t understand but a small part of it. Mom was in the hospital almost 3 years when this letter was written.
Based on the handwriting (and I know I probably shouldn’t make assumptions), it seems that Anne is younger. And Janet, if you’re out there, I find you anything but an old bore!
I wonder what happened to these old friends. I don’t recall mom ever getting together and visiting with them in my lifetime.
August 15, 1954
I guess it’s about time I wrote eh? You’ll think I’ve dropped off the face of the earth again.
How’s life at JRCH? Same as usual I suppose. Do you have an y idea at all about when you’ll get out? I just can’t wait for you to get out of that place and we can see each other again without having some nurse’s permission, and then only being able to say “hello” and “good-bye”.
I at last got my results the other day, and I was even pleasantly surprised. I got 4 H’s , and A, and a B. My B of course was in math, but was better than I expected at that! If you happen to see Mrs. Aiken, you might tell her my marks. She may want to know. I should write her myself I guess, but I very likely won’t get around to it. You know me and my letter-writing well enough to agree with that.
I’m in Stavely at present – have been here since last Wednesday. Anne is with me and we’re staying at Broomfields. You remember Mrs. Broomfield don’t you? The one I called Auntie Ella. They know George Lane quite well. Now you know!!
Auntie and Uncle took us to the drive in last night. While we were there it started to pour rain. We had the windshield wipers going, making it awfully hard to see, and the lightening was blinding. We left before it was over and had an awful trip home. The lightening was the worst I have ever seen, about six streaks would come at once, and it was mixed with sheet lightning. Every time a flash would come it was as bright as day only it looked like kind of a blue light.
I just got Anne going and she’s going to put in a note too. I’ve had a time keeping her mind off homesickness. She had a bad toothache off and on since we came and last night we noticed that one side of her face was swollen. It must be abscessed to make it do that.
We’re going home tomorrow on the bus. I think Anne’s glad. I just noticed her telling you the same thing.
We wanted to get home for the fair on Tuesday, and anyway, we’ve bothered these poor long-suffering folks enough.
I hate to disappoint you dearie, but this is all the news I’ve got. I’ll write as soon as I can and tell you about the fair.
Start putting the pressure on Dr. Walsh and Miss Olsen and fly out of there one of these days.
bye, and bushels of love,
Janet (that old bore)
Aug. 15 1954
I hope you can get out of the Red Cross Hospital quite soon. When you get out you have to come and see us. I really should write to you more often, I’ll try.
Auntie Ella bought me a new doll and a dress. Janet bought me some other new clothes, including a pedal-pusher outfit so Ill be well dressed for a while.
We went to a drive-in last night.
I’ve had a bad toothache the last few days. My face was swollen this morning.
We are going to leave Stavely tomorrow morning early on the bus.
Hope to see you soon.