Motherhood!…I must always say it tenderly…











“Helena – 28 days old – or young! “

Today would be the ninety fourth birthday of my mother-in-law, Helena Schlichter Talmage. She just passed away –  on July 24, 2013 –  a few days shy of her birthday.

To maintain some clarity among similar names: Helena Schlichter Talmage, my mother-in-law,  is the daughter of Helen Ottens Schlichter – the writer of the letters which this blog is about.

I thought, today, how amazing is it that, among the letters, sorted by date, I will surely be able to find a letter in which Helen writes to her mother about her newborn daughter, Helena, who was born 94 years ago!

The letter is dated:

    August 5, 1919,  Rm 5  Hospital, China Inland Mission, Shanghai

It is a long letter – both sides of seven pages – small writing. I will share excerpts: 

“-therefore also I have granted her to Jehovah; as long as she liveth she is granted to Jehovah.” I Sam. 1:28

Mother Dearest,

Isn’t it glorious? – Motherhood! I know now something of what the word means,     and I feel as if I must always say it tenderly….

Helena Louise – we are so very, very happy – and I know you are all rejoicing  with us….God sent her to us at five o’clock Sunday afternoon…She weighed in at seven pounds when she came to us and has an abundance of dark brown hair – straight – oh, so straight. I never saw so much hair on a young baby….

Of course, Helena is the dearest baby in the world, and we both nearly love her to pieces. She amuses us with the most comical faces, then suddenly a beautiful smile….

Well, this is the twelfth day since Helena has been ours, and I am now writing this sitting out on the veranda – in a long steamer chair, with Helena fast asleep in her coach right beside me. Alfred is here, too, lounging in a steamer chair…

A few days last week we were having the remains of a typhoon. What winds there were! ..but in the midst of banging doors and shutters, and howling winds Helena slept sweetly on…

Love to Papa and Mil and lots and lots of love to my dearest, dearest Mother  from

Her own happy daughter,




One thought on “Motherhood!…I must always say it tenderly…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *