Better late then never

By Associated Press
July 04, 2014 10:10 AM
David Leaming/

A letter written by a Maine school teacher in 1931 intended for her mother 150 miles away has finally been delivered – 83 years later.

A then-23-year-old Miriam McMichael sent the nine-page letter from Houlton, Maine, to Dollena McMichael, her mother, in Pittsfield, Maine. Both women have since died.

The letter was lost and only recently found at the Pittsfield post office. Postal worker Michelle Rowell found it and tells the Morning Sentinel she knew it was old because of the 2-cent stamp.

The postmaster and town officials tracked down the family, and the letter is now in the hands of 69-year-old Ann MacMichael, of Cornville, Maine, Miriam’s niece and Dollena’s granddaughter. The spelling of the family name has changed.

MacMichael says the irony is that her aunt apologizes in the letter for not writing sooner. Miriam and her mother were close and often wrote one another.

“One of the best parts for me of what she wrote was that she apologized for not writing sooner, as she knew her mother had been anxiously waiting all week for a letter – which, as we know, was never received,” Ann MacMichael told the Morning Sentinel. “She said, ‘I’m just getting around to writing. I imagine you have been anxiously waiting for a letter all week. I have no excuses, but that I just didn’t get to it and there are lots of things to tell you, too.'”

The letter contains the same irreverent humor MacMichael remembers from growing up with her aunt.

“We always have thought of our aunt as a strong woman with a mind of her own and with a way of saying what was on her mind, but often using a mix of humor to make it more palatable,” MacMichael shared.

Want more stories like this?

Sign up for our newsletter and other special offers:

Thank you for signing up!