How dear to this heart are the scenes of my childhood

When I lived in New York City, I was so eager to get letters from home that I tore open the envelopes at my mailbox. I lived on the sixth-floor of a walk-up, and as I read page after page, I became so absorbed in my father’s words that I often bypassed my floor and walked all the way up to the roof.

Monday Nite, 26th October

My dear Shelly,

I am thinking of you far away in New York City all alone. I would much rather you were here with us.

Sad indeed is Bacon’s assertion that “There is little friendship in the world, and least of all between equals”. But little do men perceive what solitude is and how far it extends ~ for a crowd is not company ~ and faces are but a gallery of pictures, and common talk but a tinkling cymbal where there is no love. And then again, this may not be altogether true. Thus even strangers may be most interesting, and many will agree how often we say, Golly, we had a good talk. As an eastern Proverb has related to us: Has thou a friend, visit him or her often, for thorns and brushwood obstruct the road which no one travels on.

“Each day a little life.”

“Time is often said to be money. But it is more. It is life, and yet many who would cling desperately to life, think nothing of wasting time.”

“The moments we forego, eternity itself cannot retrieve.”

Shelly, maybe you would do well by coming home and vacating yourself from the pollution filled air of New York City, and if you craved a little pollution, we could go over to the old homestead on Bernard Street and partake of some.

Fireside enjoyments and all the comforts of the lowly roof…

How dear to this heart are the scenes of my childhood ~

When fond recollection recalls them to view ~

The orchard, the meadow, the deep tangled wildwood ~

And every lov’d spot which our infancy knew.

Love, Dad, Mother

Michael & Chucky

Author note: This letter was written on the back of a SUMMONS form. Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. Municipal Department, First District.

Shelly Reuben is an Edgar-nominated author, private detective, and fire investigator. For more about her books, visit

Copyright © 2009, Shelly Reuben

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