Jenny brought the mail in just as Lucille finished the dishes. ” Mama, you got a letter from Miss Bessie!”
“Thank you, Jesus! I been so worried ’bout Bessie. You remember her. We used to spend the day with her sometimes on your day out. She had that little red-headed girl, Peggy. She wrote me she was havin’ gall bladder surgery, and I ain’t heard from her in over a month.” Lucille dried her hands and sat down to read her letter.
Jenny settled with the baby to hear her mother’s letter. “I sure do remember going there. I loved playing with Peggy. She had that rag doll her mama made. She always let me play with it. How is Miss Bessie?”
“Well, let’s read this letter and see.”
Dear Lucille, I hope this letter finds you well. I had my surgery and it’s starting to look like I might live, but if you ever have a choice between having gall bladder surgery and jumping in front of a train, pick the train. You know I ain’t one to complain, but that surgery like to killed me. The doctor cut me in half one day and then that big old nurse come in swishing in the next morning telling me I had to get up and walk. I was hurting so bad I couldn’t even get a good breath and she was on me about walking. She got me up, but I thought it would kill me, for sure. Then before I could even get my false teeth in and comb my hair, the doctor come in wanting to know if I was passing gas! I was never so embarrassed in my life! Now that’s just something it ain’t decent to talk to a man about. Every day after that he come busting in wanting to know if my bowels was moving. I never heard of such a thing!
Sally, my boy Reggie’s wife, come to stay for a couple of weeks when I went home. She done the best she could, but I sure wished Peggy could have come. She’s big pregnant and has a two year old and her doctor wouldn’t let her go off. He probably wanted to keep her handy to ask her about her bowels! Ha! Sally done real good except she didn’t put enough salt in nothing. She does make fine pies, though. She fixed lunch for me and Martha. You remember my sister don’t you? Sally sure made some good chicken salad with walnuts and raisins, but I did notice she was using my fine tea towels to dry dishes. I didn’t say nothing, but I made sure to gather them up when she went to the bathroom, putting some drying towels out. I know she didn’t mean no harm, but my mama embroidered them towels and I want to keep them nice. Well, I better close and get this in the mailbox. I know you and Jenny are having a good visit. Kiss that baby for me. I tucked in a little keepsake christening cap I made for the baby. She can use it later for a bride’s hanky. All my love, Bessie.
“Well, ain’t that something!” She passed the tissue wrapped cap to Jenny.
“This is the sweetest little cap. I will have to be sure to keep it nice for Lucy. She’ll be proud of this one day. I fell kind of embarrassed now, I almost laughed out loud at her about not complaining.” Jenny confessed.
“Honey, don’t you worry none about that. Bessie’s a good friend, but she does complain, but lots of times, she’s real funny when she does it. She also made a precious gift. Recognizing the truth don’t hurt nothing. I better get a little note off to her.” Jenny took her hand as she started to get up.
“Mama, let me write a note first, then you can add yours to it. I need to thank her for this sweet gift and the times I spent at her house.” Jenny folded the tiny cap back in tissue.
“That would be good, Jenny. She is a friend to us both.”
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