1980, August 4: Letter from Helen to Marcy

A couple weeks after I finished the project of posting these letters, I found a few that hadn’t been with the others. Here’s one of them: a just-over-one-page typewritten letter from Helen to Marcy.

I don’t really know what to make of this. It was written only three months before Marcy died, so the recommendations to try all sorts of things seem kind of weird to me. This reads to me like it was in response to a despairing or distressed letter from Marcy—but the previous letter from Marcy that I have was cheerful and upbeat. I wonder if there’s a letter that I don’t have, or if there was a phone call that this was a followup to.

Content warning for some odd attitudes about health.

At the beach

6:30 a.m. Mon. 8-4-80

Our Marcia dear --

If I can keep my glasses de-fogged, I'll write. Must be steam in my eyes (instead of gleam) this a.m.

But my mind is so full of you, thoughts and memories and visions, besides things Id say were we person-to-person, that it will burst at the seams if not given release. Which reminds me of a current song "Please release me, set me free". And x that applies to your our dog’s name, darlin' - for her sake, you must wean her away from you. And along that trend, I read quite an article recently on the diseases, or lack of health, animals cause in a home situation. If two neighbors are examples, I concur with the writer - as they accumulate more animals, the humans' physical condition deteriorates. But of course they dwell in negative-ism.

Oh oh, I digress. Incidentally, please don't shut me out out for anything I write - I've just got to purge my head so there'11 be room to think - to get ideas - so I'll just empty (dump?) things helter-skelter.

When I changed the Hallmark calendar to August, this was the message thereon: "Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished - if you're alive, it isn't!" From "Illusions" by Richard Back. Didn't he write the seagull story - can't remember the name now. Wonder if his ancestry included the musician.

Oh yes - that reminds me - how 'bout you folks getting the piano you want? I know - you can't afford it - but "experience" says you can't afford not to get it. Just rent one. That will be a new tune in your lives, get you out of a rut? - Everybody, not just children,x needs new toys. If you, Marcie love, have never played, you can learn - Peder can help you - and music hath charms. One time when Peder was a baby and GV worked nights, neither would go to sleep one a.m. - so I gave 'em hot milk, massaged their necks and shoulders, read to 'em and finally said I was tired of fussing about it (tho it was vitally necessary for GV to get his rest) so I played the piano to ease my own frustration. They both fell asleep! (Doesn't say much for my musical ability, eh?) Maybe you can have a family concert - with the younger members both playing (violin and horn?).

How happy we are that your blessed minister insisted on your eating, M. We'd add to that and say eat anything and everything - there may be an element in some food you're needing but not getting now. I'd even say drink some wine for relaxation. By the way, you intellectuals do know that dis/ease means lack of ease or tension, don't you?

xxx In that respect, have you tried - or considered trying - chiropractic treatments? I've been intrigued by some of their techniques, such as pressure on the feet showing problems or mis-alignment elsewhere in the body. And I've been very interested in acupuncture and acupressure. Or hypnosis.

Going back to ffod and drink - think I've mentioned before that I8ve read grape juice is healing - very much so. Don't aks me why.

Marcie, I know you're not an arts-and-crafts person - you've been too busy in practical living thus far - but how 'bout your trying painting - or knitting - or ceramics - or any possible thing to captivate your mind?

Guess this is enough - too much? - for one time so "to be continued" --

We love you (no use saying "very much" for love is sufficient, there are no degrees, says my sage G.V.)

God bless -

Mother H.


I may be wildly misinterpreting, but this letter reads to me like Helen is desperately grasping at straws to try to find things that might cheer Marcy up or make her feel better. It makes me kind of tense to read it. It also doesn’t read like Helen to me, in a variety of ways—I wasn’t sure it had been written by her until I saw the reference to baby Peter and “G.V.”
I’m surprised and a little taken aback to see Helen address Marcy as both Marcia (Marcy’s original given name, which she almost never went by) and Marcie (a spelling that Marcy never used). I would have expected that after a dozen years of writing letters back and forth, Helen would have known the correct spelling of Marcy’s name.
I’m also surprised to see her sign this as “Mother H.”
“G.V.” is George. “Peder” is Peter.
dog/animal stuff
I’m guessing that Marcy expressed concern about what would happen to our dog if/when Marcy died. But the idea that pets cause health problems surprises me, and the idea that negativity causes health problems annoys me.
“Richard Back”
Yep, Richard Bach was the author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
The letters had talked for years about various organs and such that we had owned, including one that George and Helen had given us. I’m not sure why Helen is talking here as if Marcy has never encountered a keyboard instrument.
Marcy had said in a letter months earlier that she was seeing a chiropractor. More generally, it surprises me to see Helen being the one recommending alternative medicine, after years of Peter and Marcy recommending it to G&H.

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