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by Edward Wachdorf Sr.
copy of typed letter, original went to Harry
Mom = his wife, Irene Pfleger Wachdorf
Ruth Kelly, neighbor, and her son John
Larry, his son, and other children Larry, Dolores & Bunk/Frank/Francis
Dick & Millie Heagberg, widower of his daughter, and wife
Mr & Mrs Casello: former CA neighbors
Mr & Mrs Haas (Lorraine & Al Haas): daughter of Carrie Baldwin & husb, friends
Mr & Mrs Baldwin = Carrie Baldwin, his wife's friend
Miss Howorka = his wife's friend and religious crony
Geralda Gotsch = childhood friend of his wife
John & Bernice Scudder = not sure
Feb. 25th. 1961
I take my pen and lay it down while I strut my thrusty typing. The main topic shall be Mom's continued progress, both mentally and physically.
She don't need toting around anymore, nor slow walking back and forth from bed to bath room, to my chair, which she has commandeered, with two pillows for props and a new fangled head rest. There she sets for an hour and sometimes two and extended a wee bit longer. Each day we can see more of her exhibited spunk. She watches the birds flittering around, cusses the dog for using our lawn for a potty and our little tree for exercising their leg motion.
She even has abolished her push-ups. Further enlightenment, she is eliminating the use of suppositories and substituting milk of magnesia as per doctor's advice. Now get this, she is even partaking of that ghastly stuff called water for drinking which she continually referred to as only good for bathing. Another good bit of advice from Doc to preclude dehydration. Of course she still don't love it but is co-operating as best she can.
Now you can realize how anxious she is to regain strength, composure and vitality. Is thinking of going to a dance but is slightly handicapped for want of a new evening gown although she possesses some nifty night gowns with frills and laces of the daintiest hues. She is getting to be a little catty what with Ruth dusting her back with powder, using deodorants and eyebrow make-up.
Commencing to look like most of her tribulations have gone with consistent prayers of her own and just innumerable assistance from you all and true friends, not to mention Larry and I, who fervently knelt in the chapel at the hospital, praying to God to keep his arm around her so she would not slip while on the operating table. Realize if you can, her change in attitude from that long road back from the very first beginning of her misery. Never thought I would see our Mom so dejected and low in spirits as she was on the 2nd & third day and the disastrous day of the beginning, Feb 2nd. Her reaction is indicative of genuine perseverance and pluck with a will to serve much longer in our midst.
She is now shedding her old callous hide and getting that new skin you love to touch.
I sure am developing a new skin too. I am always in hot water, doing the dishes on the hour. First my breakfast and Larry's dishes, then Mom's a little later, then my lunch, then Ruth's and John's, then a repeater on Mom's again with gooey egg and mushy baby food leftovers, glasses by the pan full, then eggnog dishes in between, plus snack dishes of John's and another reoccurence at supper time only at this dismal meal lady luck hands me her charm of discard dishes of the T.V. dinners. That leaves only cups and glasses, plus silverware to clean up. But now comes Mom's dishes again with some more leftovers of sauce, mish-mush, milky glass and silverware again.
I do these immediately so as not to give Ruth a chance of stealing my thunder and getting me fired. She mentioned last night she she attended her club meeting the night before, which by the way is for fleshy, plump and well fed adult women. There she was the center of applause for losing three pounds the last week. Larry quickly interposed a thought of his own by acquainting her with the fact that he and I were responsible for that by her wearing herself down running back and forth from her house to here to take care of all of us. Even does our washing.
I do admit that my little bit of assistance, like putting on Mom's slippers, her robe, carry out her pillows, hand her her rosary, handkerchief, vaseline, cough syrup and milk of magnesia. Some busybody, dolgarnit. Another big operation, I paste in her trading stamps or catch up on the accumulation of green and blue chip stamps. I must not forget to tell Larry to have these keys reset so I can find the right ones wherever I strike. Also help Ruth defrost the fridgedaire.
Larry has a sore arm. He tries so hard to reach the rear of his back, relating his culinary achievement of frying hamburgers, french fries, boiling potatoes, opening cans, especially Tuna fish, soups and mostly cans of beer. When he gets at frying he yells like a banshee about sputtering lard. That's nothing to the looks of the stove when he gets done. Takes me another hour cleaning up and I think the women folks can appreciate what I go through. But some day I'll laugh about it and think it was quite a lark. I take a swab at the floor when the spots get too prominent, even carry out the garbage to the barrel, where Larry takes over later.
Now for some instructions. Harry we are about out of pills so please send whatever you can get with this check but no more, you Santa Claus. Maybe if Bunk comes out he can bring them along, in not please mail.
Also did anybody notify Dick & Millie? Mom got a birthday card wherein they mentioned that they hoped she was feeling fine.
Mom got a total of 158 cards and letters so far.
Here is a list of people to notify that don't seem to know that Mom was critically sick.
Mr. & Mrs. Haas on Richmond St.
" " Casello on Thripp
" " Baldwin get in touch with Lorraine Haas in Oak Lawn
Miss Howorka 1641 Hudson basement flat
John & Bernice Scudder 5839 S. Nordica Ave.
Miss Gotsch 5612 S. Lowe Ave.
Hope this finds all of you in the best of spirits and gratefullness for good cheery news of our dear Mom
Your ever loving parents & Larry
cc Bunk on account of distance
The rest of you can have a gab fest on the phone
To go to next, click here: 1961 Mar 22 Irene