Wanda D. Keefe Letter to Family

[retyped 30 Sep 2000 by AK}


 24 June 1977


To our Family

This morning I attended the nine o'clock mass at St. William the Abbot. I try to make it to the morning mass as often as possible now. Today though was special.  Thirty Three years ago your father and I were married and as I am fifty five-years old, this year feels even more special.


Today is also the feast day of St. John. When were married as you all well know. I was not a Catholic. Christian, but not as they say,of the Faith.  So St. John's feast day was not of great significance to me at that time.  Fr4om a very young age however, I was impressed with the gospel or St. John.  I must have been for I received an award from Sunday School for memorizing the whole Gospel.  Now it seems very logical to me that I should have married someone named John and we named our first son John.


During Mass I found myself writing you all a letter, in my head.  I decided that I would concentrate on getting down on paper as many of the thoughts that I could remember.  Many of the things that I will try to say to you now, I have at one time or another said to each of you alone.


First o all, during the good times and the bad in the past 33 years, even though your father and I at times felt like quitting, we never stopped loving each other.  There were many times we had to work hard at reminding ourselves of this but, it was well worth the effort.


I know you are unable to understand my feelings about a large family but, I never have regretted that we had any of you; and can not think of a time when I didn't know all of you or you were not part of our lives. You were all conceived in love and raised with love. I know there were times when you each wished that I didn't care so much.


The psalms I am quoting were from today's Mass and they are very appropriate for what I always prayed you would understand. Psalm 138 '139


"O Lord, you have probed me and you know us?; You know when I sit and when I stand; you understand my thoughts from afar.  My journeys and my rest you scrutinize, with all my ways you are familiar. Even before a word is on my tongue behold me and before, you hew me in and rest your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; too lofty for me to attain. Truly you have formed .my innermost being; you knit me in my mother's womb.  I give thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made; wonderful are your works.  My soul also know full well; nor was my frame unlen? To you when I was made in secret when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes have seen my actions, in your book they are all written:  My days were limited before one of them existed."


I have to make you understand that I love and respect you all as individuals but my prayer will always be to remember your creator and also my hope is that you will remain close as a family.  I have always prayed that you would follow God's first commandment and all others would follow.  I delight in your triumphs and happiness and suffer through your problems with you.  The hardest thing for me has been to stand and see you learn things the hard way, when you think you are doing the easy thing.  As much as you would like it not to be so at times, the fact remains your hurts are ours.  Each of you are a separate, unique person -- there never was another you and never will be  --  so love and respect your mind, body and soul.


As a family we have had much to be grateful for. With all the ups and downs we have never had a serious tragedy.  For this I try to count my blessings very often.  With the trials and triumphs of raising you, I must impress upon you that I did not do it alone... With your father away so much, I could not have made it through the loneliness and the fear without God's help.  When things got bad and I would get discouraged, I would stop trying to do it alone and tell God he was responsible too and had to take over. He always did and another crises would pass.


This afternoon I received a dozen red roses from your father, I cried, so, you can see how sentimental I am becoming.


I can almost hear one of you saying, "When is she going to end this drivel?" I want to thank you all for your good wishes and love on our anniversary and all the other times and I am glad you are all you.


Much love from mom



Hand written on AK copy


I finally did get a lot of it down on paper. Was nice talking to you but know sometimes I really chew your ear off.


Things are going pretty well and I'm at peace with the world.

Dad is coming home Fri Morn. We are picking Moira and Jackie up and bring them in for the weekend. Have been promising them.  Will make plans this weekend of when Mark and I will visit Dad in Wash and Virginia -    Talk to you soon.     Love      Mom