Love Letters….

This is a sorrowful month for me.  My father, many years ago, died, right in the full swing of Autumn, the most glorious of seasons in the North.  Then my dearest of friends, Marge Chester died unexpectedly the other day.  They were both wonderful and similiar people in many ways. This is just a little letter of love to them, now so gone. 


Dear Daddy,

This month of your death so many years ago –feeling like a blurred yesterday—you would have loved this month, this glorious autumn.

The drought of the past few years has made the colors brilliant, longstanding.  I can’t remember a fall season, now sliding into the earliest of winter, so beautiful.  The reds of the maples are like the slashes of summer’s red cardinals, the oranges and golden leaves, bushes, long grasses as vibrant, as glowing as the sun refracting off broken glass in the grass.  The air is brushed clean with strong seasonal rains, a further blessing after a dry summer.

But the winds! They come out of the north, like bellows, or a bull bellowing. They blow everything before them, and trees, these large pecan and live oak so prominent in the south, are like swaying troupes of dancers.  When this happens at dusk, before the heat of the day cools, when the sky darkens and there is a roiling of clouds in a balmy sky, the winds come marching in like Storm troopers and this spectacle of nature is awesome, fear inspiring.

Thanksgiving was too warm for our holiday: 60 degrees; there is something wrong about this.  Pleasant, but wrong.  Better a cold dreary rain. I’ve been playing Copeland, conducted by your buddy Lennie, and I thought you would be pleased.   At least the music follows tradition if our weather won’t.

I miss you so much.  It took years for me to understand why. I only hope I can be as generous and loving to my own child as you were to me.  I didn’t appreciate you then. It took years for me to understand. But you were, are….loved deeply by me.  All the cousins and remaining dear aunt say I take after you.  I couldn’t be more pleased with that opinion.  Dear Aunt Jean was reading a letter from you from 1943, when you were up to your eyeteeth in WWII.  She said she could well understand where I got my writing ‘skills’ from.  I hope she will share your letter.


Your daughter


Dear Marge,

I still can’t get my head around your death.  We were talking the night before for Christ’s sake!

You died in the same month as my dear father.  You were born in the same month as my dear father.  But the strongest commonality here is  you had such a gentle generosity to you, such a love of life  and good, Talmudic wisdom.   LOL!  We would joke about that last thing, as I knew how much you were bent in life in dividing the wheat from the chaff.  And because of how you looked at life, you lived a beautiful one.  I haven’t been able to ‘properly’ mourn yet, sweetie.  That first hour of sobs scared me, as you know how I react to death, but I think the grief will come: it just hasn’t sunk in yet. 

You were my rock and my best friend.  Now I have to write to your mate, and I can’t get my words straight.  But I do have them in my heart, but I just can’t yet believe t they are needed.   I don’t believe you are gone.

In time, I will know but for now, I am holding you close to me, remembering the sound of your voice, and the years of compassion and solace…and good wisdom, from many streams.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Thanksgiving, 2011

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11 Responses to “Love Letters….”

  1. Steve E Says:

    Oh, how fervently I would read a 1943 letter from your WWII father.
    Your tribute is full of beautiful memory.

    How different it seemed–my perception of Pop’s life, after he died.
    Few days ago I blogged about him, with my ‘new’ view.

    I feel your grief–mine was laced with guilt when he died in 1978.

    Prayers and blessings for your family, and for YOU.
    Love, and PEACE!


  2. Steve E Says:


    Whoever does not have a friend like Marge in their life, does not LIVE! You LIVE! If grief becomes too heavy in your heart, find another who is suffering–help them. I believe you already do that! (Advice! Of COURSE, that is last thing you need now–grin!)

    These words, this thought, is new for me: “I can’t get my words straight. But I do have them in my heart, but I just can’t yet believe they are needed. I don’t believe you are gone.”

    How wonderfully stated, how completely understood, by whoever reads this. Thank you for being YOU. And you are in my prayers this day..tomorrow, tomorrow, and tomorrow…


    P.S. A good friend of mine–ours–died this morning. One month ago he was fine, normal, except for an unusual slight headache. A malignant brain tumor let him live only 30 more days


  3. ladynyo Says:

    I am so sorry for your own loss. You would know then grief. I am struggling with it, because it is…just…well, you know.

    Thank you, always, dear friend….for reading and your supportive and loving comments.

    You are also dearly loved from here.



  4. ladynyo Says:

    Grief laced with guilt seems to be the norm. Ah well.

    I will go tomorrow to your site and read about your ‘new’ view of your father. Mine was a complex man, but very humble. He died too damn early.

    As Lady Nyo said in a poem to an unknown lover…

    “I will always show gratitude for prayers,
    wherever they come from…”

    Something like that. As for this series of Lady/Lord Nyo poems, there are two left. I sent Marge the End Poem to her the night before she died. She said it made her weep.

    Perhaps we can channel our grief and sorrow into our work, neh?

    With love,



  5. Steve E Says:

    Lady Jane, you responses bring me into that other world of joy. thank you!


  6. ladynyo Says:

    and thank you. You are such a wonderful friend.



  7. katiewritesagain Says:

    Yes, this month has been sad for me and many of those I know. Maybe it’s because of my work, but death is no longer so fearful for me. I don’t mean that your grief isn’t genuine and that I don’t know how sad you are. I still think of my mother every day. I think of my niece every day. I rememeber their laugh, the way they widened thier eyes in happiness when I opened the door for my infrequent visits.

    Eventually, you will realize you are holding the dear memories close and that they will always be part of you. Our relationships make us so much who we are. They were lucky to have you


  8. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Sweetheart,

    No, I was lucky to have them both in my life.

    Hugs…..we’ll talk soon.


  9. Rosemary Nissen-Wade Says:

    Thank you for haring these beautiful, moving letters. You are a poet even in prose!


  10. Rosemary Nissen-Wade Says:

    Oops! *sharing


  11. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Rosemary!

    That is quite the compliment! Thank you.

    Lady Nyo


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