Emily Wynns (EW) and Nora Percival (NP)
NP: Oh in 1936 I had many dreams. It was the depression and it was very hard for young people then to get lives started. But we did get married and we finally got jobs. We were very happy. But soon after that in 1939 Herman was diagnosed with acute leukemia and the doctor did not want the patient to know that he was not going to recover. It was very hard for me not to tell Herman such an important thing because we told each other everything. The day that he died, the doctor was there, and gave him morphine so he would slip into a coma. But after a couple of hours of that he woke up very bright and bushy tailed, talking and laughing. He made me lie down by him and held me and talked for 3 hours until he finally lapsed into unconsciousness. It was the best gift he could have given me.
I couldn’t imagine living in a world that didn’t have him in it, but life has a way of demanding that you live it. I was pregnant. I was determined I was going to have his child, despite the advice given to me by my elders that all said I was only 24 years old and I was going to make my so difficult to raise a child alone. It never occured to me to think about aborting the child. He was born in the following February and has been the joy of my life ever since.
EW: Tell me how you became an author at 88?
NP: That was an ambition that began in my 20’s. And because my life changed so suddenly it made it hard for me to think about wanting to write. But when things eased up, and I got older then I realized there was one more act of resurrection that I needed to do. And I wrote a book using the letters that Herman and I wrote to each other–hundreds of letters I kept in a sealed box for over 60 years. I opened that box and I told our story. So that the words he should have put into novels and books if he had lived could now be in a book. In fact I put his name on the front cover as the co-author because half the words are his.
EW: What are your hopes for me after you’re gone?
NP: I hope you’re going to find someone that you can love completely as I loved Herman because there’s nothing in the world as wonderful as two people in love. There’s nothing better.