This letter, a hand written letter, was discovered as I unpacked from my move back to Iowa in the Fall of 2017. The letter was written to Elizabeth Horness by her daughter, my wife, Maxine. The letter was written three months before Elizabeth died on Dec 29, 1976.
It is a heart warming story that included tears as I read it. I sought a second opinion about publishing the letter and I was encouraged to share the letter. I sent this letter, via snail mail, to family members before adding it to my website.
As the letter shows, Maxine internalized her feelings and it was difficult for her to verbalize them. I was, and still am, no different. Maxine and I were fortunate because we could “sense” each others feelings when we couldn’t verbalize them and that helped strengthen our marriage.
I am thankful Maxine saved so much stuff and left it in places for us to find after she was gone. Max has been gone more than twelve years and she still nurtures all of us. This letter is our history and heritage. I feel very blessed to have married into the Horness family. I am what I am today because of the love and nurturing Maxine gave me.
A Letter to Mom
Tuesday, Sept 29, 1976
I was so glad to see you looking so much better today when Hazel and I came to see you. I must admit that the last couple of times I saw you I thought that I had waited to long to tell you these things that I have carried in my heart for so long. Many times I have wanted to tell you my feelings and thoughts but have not been able to because of the lump I get in my throat. Tonight I lay in bed thinking of you and I felt compelled to write this letter before another day went by.
Mom, I want to thank you for being all that you have been and always will be to me. I was thinking tonight of the years at home when I was growing up and through all the squabbles and fights one thing I was always sure of was that you and Daddy loved me and the rest of us kids. I know there were times when you and Dad didn’t have much and what you had was always for us kids. But the one thing I never felt short on was love. I know there were times when I was a brat and backtalked and was rude but even then I was so sure of your love that maybe that’s why I felt I could safely speak my mind.
I don’t know how you and Dad did it, but if there is just one thing that I can give my own children it is my hope and prayer that I can give them the same kind of love that my parents gave to me. If everybody in this world could experience the love that I have gotten from my parents it wouldn’t be long ‘til the world would straighten out. I think that God gave me the best parents He had to give. I don’t want this to sound egotistical, but I don’t know any other way to say it. I think you and Dad raised the best family on earth.
With the help of God and all that you have given me I hope to pass on to my children this kind of love that you have given me for I don’t think I could give them any greater gift.
I’m sorry I have not told you my feelings before, I have had them for a long time. I think I first really realized just how much you and Dad have given me when Galen was born and the responsibility of parenting became a reality to me. I know God loves me because He gave me you.
Thank you mother for being my mother and making me who I am. I love you so very much and I will see you again as soon as I can.