Saturday, January 4, 2014

Gene recovers from a mastectomy

August 9, 1977

Dear Laura,

I loved your letter. Thank you for writing to me and for coming over to see me. It always cheers me up to see you and your brothers.

I love you all so very much. Yes, I'm getting well now and feeling better every day. Love, Grandma M

Perry & Gene
August 13, 1977

Dear Family,

This will be just a few lines to let you know how everything is down here because I am sure you have all been wondering.

Gene came home from the hospital just one week ago today. She is really doing quite well--very well in fact. She is amazing everybody with her recovery. I am sure this is largely because of her remarkable recuperative attitude, her determination to enjoy life, and the blessings of the Lord through the priesthood.

Yesterday we went back to the hospital to have the sutures removed. It was an anniversary for us, 33 years since our first meeting, so from the hospital we drove over to Riverside and had lunch at the Old Mission Inn which is being restored. We thought it appropriate since we had lunched there together just after I was discharged from the Navy.

Of course, a whole flood of thoughts have coursed through our minds, mostly in thankfulness for life--every day, each moment. We have thought about a few lines from Thornton wilder's play "Our Town." One of the characters, Emily, is permitted to come back and view one segment of life:

Emily: Oh, it goes so fast. We don't have time to look at one another. . . .Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it, every, every minute?

Stage Manager: No. The saints and the poets, maybe--they do some.

I can say that this past week we have both been very sensitized to life. When Gene came home from the hospital, just one week ago today, she broke down and wept. (We both did.) And she kept repeating over and over, "Oh, it is so good to be home. Oh, my home is so beautiful." We are both enjoying "every, every moment." I have been right at Gene's side constantly not only to meet her physical needs but more important her deeper spiritual support. I have read to her, often at two o'clock in the morning, to help alleviate the pain. (The only pain pill she has had is aspirin.) And often, at her request, I have even sung to her. Most poignant have been the words from the hymn, "Lead Kindly Light." '. . . Keep Thou my feet. I do not ask to see the distant scene. One step enough for me.'

Yesterday evening Gene went and stayed briefly at Reymund Fast's wedding reception. You see, she really has spirit. And last night she slept the best she has since the surgery.

We are thankful to all of you for your thoughts, kindnesses and prayers. We are so glad Hope and Grant were able to take Dad and Mother. It was not for the reason we had planned, but it surely worked out for the best. We love all of you, Perry

August 23, 1977

Dear Linda & Eric,

Here is a copy for you of Dad's letter he wrote for everyone as a report after I got back from the hospital. I am so thankful for your dad and his devoted care of me.

I'm feeling better every day though sometimes it seems the days and especially the nights are going rather slowly. But I keep exercising and working with myself. Be seeing you. Love, Mom
Harriet Maria Taggart Goodrich
Perry's maternal grandmother

September 14, 1977

Dear Grandpa & Grandma,

Today is your sixty-seventh wedding anniversary! It boggles my mind to picture being married "happily ever after" for that long (as you two have) when I haven't even been alive half that long! It gives me something to look forward to because I know how much love grows between two people year after year--you're such good examples of that.

We've hung the big picture of Harriet Maria Taggart Goodrich (that Dad gave me on my 18th birthday) above the mantle on our brick fireplace. I've been waiting until I had a perfect place to hang it up, and now I've found it. It looks beautiful!

Take care of yourselves and give my Tippy dog a pat on the head for me! We love you very much, Craig and Harriet Lea

[Leora Edith Young Fast died November 10, 1977.]
Gene with her brothers, Richard & Pierce
at their mother's funeral

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