Gender: Male Age: 72 Location: N/A
|Introduction: To the reader: Part nine is the conclusion of the Bell Mare series. I would like to thank all of you who stayed with the series from start to finish. Especially the kind comments made by (FF) and (Bern), you both made this worth while. I know the series was long and drawn out, I apologize for that. For those who became lost along the way; here is a list of days the parts were posted if anyone cares to go back and try again. Part 1, 05-17; part 2, 05-19; part 3, 05-21; part 5-A, 05-28; part 5-B. 05-28; part 6-A. 05-30; part 6-B, 05-30; part 7, 06-02; part 8, 06-03; part 9, 06-04. DB.|
The Bell Mare
(Jakes Final Letter)
After Their Dad’s death, Becky and Valery slowly started to go through their Mom and Dad’s house finding old records and legal papers that pertained to the ranches and to their personal lives. Which needed to be read a page at a time? They found this arrangement to be very time consuming and took them months to do for fear of overlooking something of importance.
Mom and Dad had a poor way of keeping their papers in any kind of order. We found, the ranch records were in good order thanks to their foremen and the file cabinets in the ranch offices that dated back to the days of Grandpa John.
About three months after Dad died my younger sister, Valery, and I were going through Mom’s huge walk in closet. We now believe Dad could not bring himself to go through Mom’s things after she died, he moved his personal belongings into the smaller bedroom. He closed their bedroom off from the rest of the house; and the smaller bedroom is where Dad slept for the remainder of his life until he died.
As we removed each piece of Mom’s clothing from her large walk in closet, we couldn’t help but to notice over half of Mom’s clothes had never been worn they still had the store’s names and price tags attached to them and most were labeled, New York City, NY. We had no idea she had ever lived in New York.
On one of the shelves behind Mom’s clothes, we found an old cardboard box; it was falling apart with age, an old blanket covered it. As we carefully removed the box from the shelf, we noticed the handwriting on the back appeared to be Dad’s. It said, “Jake’s Journals.”
As we opened the box, we saw a sealed envelope lying on top of what appeared to be a stack of Spiral bound notebooks, perhaps forty in all. On the front of the envelope was simply written. (To: My Children.)
At first, Valery and I read Dad’s letter in total disbelief. We held each other and cried; as we reread it, several times we decided this must have pained Dad very much to write this letter to us.
Valery and I closed Mom’s closet door and took Dad’s letter into the kitchen putting it on the kitchen table. We called Terry and Paul, our brothers on the telephone and asked them to come over to Mom and Dad’s house.
When they came in we were still crying, we told them to read the letter Dad wrote to us.
When they were both finished reading Dad’s letter Paul said, “Is this some kind of a bad joke?”
Terry said, “Dad wrote Mom wasn’t who we really thought she was all of our lives.”
Valery said, “I remember Mom had beautiful breasts, I saw them many times as we grew up when she would change her clothes.”
I said, “You are right Valery, she did have beautiful breasts.”
Paul said, “Mom was just Mom to us, can anyone ever remember seeing Mom naked?”
We just looked at one another and shook our heads no. I said, “Then we really don’t know for sure, do we? Those books look like some kind of diary Dad kept; maybe we should read them and see.”
Paul agreed and said, “Terry, would you go into Mom’s closet and bring Dad’s box of books out here.”
When Terry returned with the box of books, he sat them down on the chair standing next to the kitchen table. Valery sorted the books by the dates written on the front covers. I picked up the first book and opened it; it appeared Dad started writing them when he was about ten years old. Valery opened the last book and looked at the last entry, it seemed Dad kept writing until two or three weeks after Mom died. The last page looked like Dad had spilled some water on it and tried to wipe the water up. It left the ink badly smeared on that page and it was almost unreadable except for the last sentence. He must have written it after the water dried. It said, “I can’t go on much more without you Danielle, I love you very much.”
It was signed, Jake.
Paul said, “Dad died about eight months after Mom passed away. He went down hill quite fast; I tried to get him to go to the doctor, but he always refused me by saying. I am just fine, if I need to see a doctor; I will go and see one.”
Terry said, “Dad stayed to himself and didn’t want anyone to bother him, perhaps we should have pushed him a little more to go see a doctor.”
Valery said, “I don’t believe anyone was ever going to push Dad into doing anything he did not want to do. I think he missed Mom so much he died of loneliness and a broken heart.”
Valery and I decided we would read Dad’s journals from the start to the finish. What we found out was their life was so interesting the four of us decided to contact a publisher to see if they would be interested in sorting through Dad’s journals to see if they were publishable.
This is what they had to say, “We would like to publish your father’s journals, pretty much as he wrote them. We will try not to change what he had to say or correct his grammar, the only things we will change is the names and places. We believe his story is a remarkable love story we would like to share with our readers.”
The four of us gave our permission to the publisher. Telling them to go ahead and publish Dad and Mom’s life story.
We would like to share Dad’s final letter with you, the reader.
To my children,
Becky, Terry, Paul, and Valery.
I am writing this letter to you, so you will understand more about your mother and our lives together.
By the time, you read my letter. I will have joined your beloved mother in peace, lying next to her forever.
Until now, you were not adult enough to understand and I am not trying to be disrespectful to your Mother’s memory. All of you need to understand the truth about us, she never had a chance to tell you herself before she died or she would have.
Your mother said, “I will tell them about us when they are old enough and mature enough to understand.”
She never had the chance and I have no excuses for not telling you myself. I did not think I would be so heart broken over the loss of your mother but I am.
Right now, all I want is to be back with her. Shortly we will be together again. I cannot live without her any longer. I love her so much; she has meant the world to me.
I am telling you, this is what it is and nothing will change it.
Back in our day, people would not have understood us and probably if they found out, they would have chased us out of the county or worse.
Your Mother was born as Dan Hansel. We knew each other one summer in 1946 although we never met again until about 1960.
We went up to Cow Camp in November to hunt elk and fell deeply in love with each other all over again.
While we were up at the Cow Camp cabin those glorious seven days, we put our plan into motion to buy the old Olmstead ranch, get married, and run the ranches as man and wife.
Your Mother returned to New York and then went to Sweden for six months to become the woman we all knew. Although she appeared physically to be a woman she was really a man who under went medical treatments to change her appearance.
She told me many times, “Jake, I am a woman, who is trapped in a man’s body. Very few people are able to understand what I am going through.”
She spent most of her life as a woman and she died knowing she was exactly that.
We lived our lives by our rules; we never meant to hurt anyone. It was our choice. She was not some ugly creature. She was my wife and the person with whom; I wanted to spend the rest of my life.
Your mother wanted children of her own and it was physically impossible. We did the next best thing we adopted you and she gave you her all.
She sat up many nights holding you when you were sick and asked nothing in return from you, except, you would get well.
She instilled good morals in you through out your life; after all, she was your loving mother.
Your mother went through fear, pain, and heartbreak in her lifetime with no regrets. She left her mark on this valley as a model woman, wife, and mother of four. What else could a real woman have asked for?
Your mother was my only love. She was my loving wife and your loving mother.
Only, God could have changed that. I know now, she is a real woman and I am back with her forever.
I have no regrets about us, then, now, or in the future.
I am back with her for the rest of time, and we are happy.
We love you,
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