Dear Minnesota - Perry Thorvig
Perry Thorvig shares a letter written in 1896 by his great-great-great grandfather, Peder Pederson in Norway, as he corresponds with his daughter, Marie, who had immigrated to the United States.
My Dear Daughter,
I must take my pen with tears in my eyes and thank you for the dear letter which I have received with great happiness and I see in your letter that you have had great sorrow in your house. You have lost your 2 young children at one time. So, it was a sorrow for you that these 2 were laid in one casket at the same time. But, I will beg you not to sorrow too much over them. You don't have any greater happiness than that they could go to God in heaven. I pray night and day for myself and for my children who have left their poor home and that we shall see each other with God in heaven.
I must inform you about how I am. I have been sick for one year in my right foot so that I cannot walk over the floor without a cane. I fell in the house. I have been lying in the convalescent home for a while, but I was just as sick when I went home again, and I have tried many doctors and I have spent so much money and I don't have anymore. So, I don't know what will become of me in my old age. I am now 68 years old in the fall, but I hope my time will not be so long hereafter. I wish that I could go after your mother – I have not had a good day since your mother died away from me.
Have nobody I can talk to about anything. I must only sit alone in my sorrow.
I must tell you that I received a letter from your brother, Baard. He is well and living well but he does not write anything about Iver, if he is there anymore or if he has gone some place else. I have written 2 letters to Gina, but I haven't received any answer from her. Iver and Baard have been kind to me since they left. So, I cannot thank them enough as long as I live. They have sent me many Kroner. If Iver comes to you, I ask you to be so kind as to ask him if he could come home this winter. I could not wish more in the world than to talk with Iver or Baard. I probably will have to sell (unreadable) so I could wish that Iver was home with me because I can't do anything by myself now.
I will ask you if your old parents-in-law are still living. So greet them from me and I will ask you if you know how it is with your sister Anne. I have not received more than 2 letters from her since she left. It has been very warm here for a while so that here will be a poor year – little herring fishing, some sea fish.
Here, no one recently died on Noste whom you know but there are many here at Noste who are waiting to die. I shall greet you from Ingar Noste. She is a teacher in the school. She is not married yet. And, I greet you from all your friends and greet you from your unforgettable father and sister, and greet your good husband and children from us, and God be with us all is what I wish in closing from your father Peder.
When you have time, write to me.