Monday, January 06, 2020

A Letter from my Grandmother

I was reminded of a letter I received from my grandmother when I wrote the previous post. I went through my treasure box of my mother's and father's and aunts' letters (I wish they were all there, my mother wrote to me weekly, long newsy letters before she died just over 4 years after I emigrated to Canada). I am missing hundreds of them. But around 50 are saved.

Anyway I found this lovely letter from my grandmother, sent in the early part of 1970, she left it undated. she refers to my father visiting my mother every day when she had extended hospital stays. My mother was to die just over a year after this letter was written. Granny was never the same after her death. It was a terrible time for all of us.

Granny didn't like letter writing, she always felt embarrassed by her lack of education, she was very young (around 10-11) when she left school to work in service to help support her family. I have corrected her spelling where necessary but I have left her punctuation (or lack of) and grammar stand due to the charm of it and the way I can hear her voice in her words. My mother had that gift too.
I adored my Granny and had the great good fortune to live with her and my grandda for a while in 1946.

My dear Mary

Thank you ever so much for your lovely letter and present you never forget me Mary and thank God to hear you are over your trouble and that God sent you a lovely little baby girl a sister for O*** please God time won't be long slipping Mumma told me that she is very tiny but don't you mind that Mary they run up better than the big babies

Mumma (my mother) was the same too I could only bath her evening second day she was very hardy and Mary Mumma is getting stronger every day thank God for that I suppose you heard she was down to see us and she is coming down on Sunday so I will have this letter ready for her

I was thinking Mary that you will have the summer before you now and you will never miss her getting big what a lovely name you gave her Mary you are great I suppose T** had a say in that I don't think I hope the little darling will enjoy her name what do O**** think I suppose she is great looking at her and her little smile

O must be getting very big please God we will be seeing ye all in the summer and dad and all the boys are very good tis great that G***** (brother) got the bank and that he is very happy. J*** (brother) was down after Christmas he is getting to be a lovely boy he is after getting fine and fat thank God for that

I often felt very sorry for your daddy and the way he used looked after Mumma he never missed going up and down to her he was great to cheer her up thank God for that they are both very good and we have her to go to here for our little chats she is one of the best in the whole world

I am here at 51 Main street and am very happy which is a great thing Mary the flu was very bad thank God I did not get it so far all the families are going on great.

J--- (my cousin) is doing a line with a very nice boy he gives her a very nice time and she likes him

Mary dear I will ring off now and will give this to Mumma when she will be down on Sunday

I hope you make this out.

Good bye and love to Mary, T** O*** and J******* from Grannie xxxx

(PS) Tell T** I was asking for him it won't be long slipping when I will see all the family love Grannie


  1. What an absolute treasure.
    I never knew any relatives other than immediate family and letters like this gem remind me of all that I missed.

  2. This is a true treasuyre. My family waa not the writing hind, I have only one or two letters each from any of the older generations. And yes it was an oral letter, you could hear a person speaking through the lines, I like that :)

  3. Yes, treasure is the right word to use. I really wish I had something written by my grandmother. Maybe my mother has something. I must ask her.

  4. I adore letters from adults to children.

  5. That's a lovely letter. We aren't great letter writers in our family. I write to my sister now and again and she writes to me now and again, but I try not to write too often as her replies usually run to about 15 pages and most of it is repeating herself just with different words and she keeps a copy of what she wrote so she can refer back to it to be sure I answered every single topic and question. I find that a little exasperating especially since she then writes back and reminds me I didn't answer this or that.

  6. You are blessed to have had her in your life and also to have saved such priceless letters from dear ones. In my current stage of life, one of the regrets that I have is not to have saved the letters that I received from my mother and some others.

  7. She has beautiful handwriting and as you said, she has a charming way of expressing herself. Thanks for sharing.

  8. I can hear her voice and the familiarity of the phrasing so clearly; she sounds like an optimist but also a realist; a very honest and brave combination. xx

  9. Something more valuable than gold, WWW - that letter! So lovely. Thank you for allowing us to see it.

    I used to have a bundle of letters from my maternal grandmother, who died in the 1970s. I lost them in an horrendous fire, along with all my worldly possessions. I regret that loss, and loss of other letters and photographs more than all other losses.

    Like you, I lived with my maternal grandparents for a while - around 2 years during World War 2, to keep me safe from the bombs falling on the city where my parents lived then.

    My grandma (aka "Nanny") also lived on a Main street(in a tiny village) - at number 41. :)

  10. I can hear her love for you and her family. How wonderful to have had her in your life. I think you are very much like her

  11. Such a great letter, how wonderful for you to have that! I used to write to my great aunt and she wrote to me too, but I never saved any of the letters.

  12. A charming letter. Nice that you adored your granny, I adored mine too (my maternal granny, that is).

  13. Since I'm late to the game, I got to read both letters back to back. Both lovely. I bet your granddaughter saves hers and goes back to it many years later, too.


Comments are welcome. Anonymous comments will be deleted unread.

Email me at wisewebwomanatgmaildotcom if you're having trouble.