She saved all the wedding cards, many decorated with silver accent paper, and had carefully noted the gift received on each card. She also saved the following letter addressed to my dad.
Dad became half an orphan at 5 weeks of age when his mother died. His grandparents (Maw and Pap) and their oldest daughter, Emma, cared for him for the first 4 or 5 years of his life until his father remarried. This letter is from Emma's oldest daughter, Ine (short for Madelyn), who was 8 years older than my father.
2412 McCarrell St.
Sept. 13, 1938
Dearest Lee!-- I should have answered your card sooner but just kept putting it off, yet, I know with your approaching marrige, I feel sure you never even thought more of my neglect. To say, I wish you only the "best of the best" in this world, is putting it in it's mildest form. I don't attending weddings or funerals "old chap," so that does away with your kind invitation. To me, one is almost as sad as the other, however different is the ceremony. I suppose you've had many views, good & bad, for marriage, but let me offer a last one & it is really first in my idea. Remember, this ceremony that you're undertaking is for two, not just one, & always keep it as such. There'll be ups & downs, don't let anyone say otherwise, but you can be a better man & woman, if you weather them to-gether, and as true as there's a "God in Heaven," [your] first way towards unhappiness is a "little lie." Always tell & face the truth Lee & don't forget that things that don't turn out right, if done in good faith, always right themselves.
You surely deserve a lovely home Lee, not a house, for any body can have a beautiful house, but it takes 2 to make a home. I feel sure that you've picked the right girl, & I only hope that you both are what we (the family) think you are. We all hope you the best there is but no matter how interested we are in you, remember, don't take your relatives to [sic] seriously on either side, but stand side by side, just you two "on your own hook."
I hope Pap is well enough to attend your wedding, yet I don't think he should go, do you? Poor old Soul! That makes five of his grandchildren he's seen married, Evie, Ru, Dorothy, you & I, so he really should be getting use to it now, at least, the idea anyway.
Maybe you and the "Mrs." can come down to pay us a visit soon. Huh? We have lots of room, so come along. You're welcome yes more than welcome, anytime.
Now about a gift old timer! Just what do you need most that would suit my purse, for it's almost flat? You let us know what is most useful & we'll try & accomodate. (An electric ice box for instance).
Must close Lee, and God knows I never wished anybody more happiness than I do you. Make your married life as clean, & honest as you have your past one, & I know you'll be doing more than O.K. Good luck Lee & God's Best to you both.
"Congratulations, from the bottom of our souls."
Ine & Boys.
Postmarked September 13, 1938 at 5:30 PM.
The letter almost sounds like it was written from an older sister. I found her words of counsel very touching and think the advice is sound 72 years later.
Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!