Grandma's picture

Grandma's picture
Grandma's Passport photo

Sunday, December 14, 2014

12 - Postcard From Sr Agnes - 21 May 1936

Click here to read story from beginning

Story so far: Grandma Cecile has begun planning her trip to visit her relatives back in her home village of Nieder-Mohrau, Czechoslavkia. She has been making arrangements for her travel. The days until she leaves are dwindling.

On May 21, 1936, Grandma Cecile's daughter, Sr. Liliosa (Agnes) Beitel, writes her a quick postcard to let her know that she would like to see her before she leaves. 

One thing to remember - back then, and perhaps even now, the novices were not allowed many visits home. Sr. Liliosa was only a novice at the time. She would not make her final profession of vows until later in the coming summer. Novices were allowed maybe one visit a year. They couldn't just hop in a car and drive out to Stayton to see their relatives. Nor were there cell phones for instant communication or laptops for "Skype".The nuns and novices were allowed to have visitors.

As you will see in the message, Sister was concerned that Grandma might come and she would not be there. Here it is:

The envelope:

St. Mary's of the Valley
The envelope

Beaverton, Oregon

Mr. and Mrs. Alois Beitel
R.F.D.1 Oregon

The card:
2:30 P.M.   
St. Mary's of the Valley
Beaverton, Oregon
May 21st - 1936

Dear Mother, Dad and all,[1]

I was expecting to see Marie[2] and a few more from home today but I see it must have been impossible. The reason I am sending these few words is because I'm expecting to have my tonsils removed tomorrow, Friday, and I'll probably be at St Vincent's[3] till Sunday P.M. Of course I would like to see you, mamma, before you leave, so if it is convenient for you to come sometime next week it will be all right.
Love - Sister M. Liliosa
The postcard in the envelope

[1] - Mother, Dad and all, refers to Grandma Cecile, Grandpa Alois, and the siblings still at home, probably John, Tony, Gus (getting married in about a month), Florence "Squeak", and Betty. 
[2] - Marie - Marie Beitel Lulay, my Aunt Marie, the oldest of the Beitel children and half-sister to the rest. She was already married with children
[3] - St Vincent's, a hospital in Portland
Tonsillectomy is an operation that was fairly common when I was a child. Today, tonsillectomy for adults is considered serious surgery. Perhaps more complications are possible for adults, or children just heal faster? 

Sr. Liliosa (Agnes) would have been nineteen years old at the time of this letter. Considering medicine has advanced light years since 1936, it seems that this would have been thought of as risky. Sr Liliosa does not give any indication here that she is concerned, or even give details about having been ill. 

I don't remember if my Dad or other aunts or uncles had their tonsils removed, so I'm not sure if this was considered normal or not.

May 21, 1936 was a Thursday. Why Sister was expecting her sister Marie Lulay and others to visit, I'm not sure. Had it been a Saturday or Sunday, it would not seem so  unusual.

Story to be continued...... 
To read Post "13 - Farewell Party at Lulay's - 23 May 1936" click here