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The Letter

In August of 2003, my Aunt Ruthie, who died in 1997, sent me a letter. I know it sounds impossible, but I really did have a four page letter from my Aunt fall at my feet. I have an old leather bound cookbook that once belonged to Aunt Ruthie. It's very tiny, only 73 pages, published in 1932. I had it on display not only in my kitchen back in Virginia, but in Maryland, as well . I've leafed through the pages several times and the only thing I've ever found tucked between the pages (to my knowledge) was a typed recipe for Ambrosia Pie ... One recent night my husband had misplaced something and was looking all around the kitchen for this lost item. I picked up the cookbook to look behind it when suddenly, from between the pages, a four paged letter in my Aunt's old familiar handwriting fell to my feet. I know for certain NOTHING had been placed in that book, aside from the typed recipe. Somehow, for all of these years, that four paged letter was sealed between two pages. I had chills as I bent over and realized what was written across the pages. It was an outline for our family history dating from the Revolutionary War to about 1921. It almost appeared as if Aunt Ruthie were writing the outline to help someone write a personal history paper and not a family record ... Most of the 3 pages were just one line sentences about specific events or people, but there was one page that had a complete story written on it. The story was about my Great, Great Grandmother Miranda and it takes place in Arkansas in 1908. Ironically, just above this story it stated that Miranda was from Maryland. I never knew I had family ties to Maryland. This next paragraph is the story I found written by Aunt Ruthie about Great, Great Grandmother Miranda:

Grandma Miranda Dorcus came to Arkansas from Maryland. Apparently, Grandma had a dream that she saw Grandpa Rick (who had died 3 years before, 51 years after they married) coming across a meadow of waving grass. He said he had come for her. She said she would be glad to go visit in a couple weeks but she had some plans to complete before then. She said that he agreed to come back for her...The plans Grandma wanted to complete included most of her family. One was that her son-in-law, Dr. William King, was not to "keep her in a medicinal way when Grandpa came back for her." Her daughter Sophia Miranda was instructed to make her a dress. She would wear it in the immediate future to an annual picnic. She asked another one of her daughters to launder it often so it would stay just as she had wanted it for when Grandpa would come back for her. She told her daughters she was to be buried in this dress. ...She visited with other members of the family and then her "two weeks" were about up. At the end of her "two week" wait for Grandpa Rick, she was at Aunt Ella Simmon's house. A man who lived near by came over and was talking to them. She suggested to Aunt Ella and Uncle Josh to lie down for a while. They left the room and did as she requested...After talking with the visiting neighbor for a little while she asked him to tell Aunt Ella and Uncle Josh to come back in as she wanted to tell them goodbye because "Rick was there for her". They came in and stood on each side of her rocking chair. She reached her hands up to each one of them, smiled and said "Good bye" and then she was gone...