Mollie Olson, a 97-year-old woman living in North Dakota, received an unexpected and most welcome surprise from a long-lost relative this week.
“Long lost relative” because the author was none other than her long-deceased grandfather, Sylvester “Bessie” Marshall.
But before you ghost hunters break out your electronics, here’s a little clarification.
Marshall wrote the letter 125 years ago. The worn but readable item (pictured above) was dated September 26, 1889, a full 28 years before Olson came into the world.
Olson told the Dickinson Press that she had fond memories of her grandfather.
“My granddad was the best. He took care of us kids. I was named after his wife, Mollie, and he loved her dearly. He wouldn’t leave me out of anything because my name was Mollie.”
Mollie Olson said that her grandfather was madly in love with her grandmother, who, prior to their marriage, was known by the name of Mollie McFarland.
Twelve hundred miles separated the pair at the time of the unexpected letter that Olson received, and his longing could be seen in every word.
“My Dear Friend,” he wrote to the elder Mollie, “you said you could come any time but that time never comes for you… it may be two more years before you come.”
“May you think of one that has loved you, and be happy,” he added.
Sylvester had built a log cabin in Emerado, North Dakota, where the two could be together. They both hailed from Allegheny, Pennsylvania. The Grand Forks Herald notes that he farmed “wheat and flax” from the property.
Eventually he got his way and Mollie arrived ready to begin their lives together.
“He was the nicest old man who ever walked the earth,” Olson remembered. “Wherever he went, I went with him.”
The letter has made quite a splash in the family, with numerous family members requesting to see it. Mollie Olson said that she plans on making a copy and giving one to each of her kids.
As unique as this story is, it’s not the first time the Inquisitr has reported on a letter from beyond the grave. In 2013, there was this story of a WWII Marine’s diary that found its way to his sweetheart 70 years after his death.
Cpl. Thomas “Cotton” Jones, 22, was head-over-heels for his Laura Mae Davis shortly after meeting the girl at Winslow High School in 1941.
“He was a basketball player and I was a cheerleader,” said Laura, who now goes by the name of Laura Mae Davis Burlingame.
It wasn’t long before the two would become a couple, dating throughout high school and attending prom together. When Jones became a Marine, one of the first things he did was begin a diary he would call “my life history of my days in the US Marine Corps … And most of all my love for Laura Mae for whom my heart is completely filled.”
The first entry in the WWII Marine’s diary was made at Camp Elliott in San Diego, but that’s not where it would be found. On September 17, 1944, during the third day of the US assault on Peleliu, an island in the Pacific region of Palau, Jones was struck between the eyes by a sniper’s bullet.
The 22-year-old machine gunner was aware he may not be coming home, and he always wanted Laura to know what she meant to him.
“So if you all get a chance please return it to her. I (am) writing this as my last life request.”
So how about it, readers? Any experiences like that of Mollie Olson or the star-crossed WWII couple? What is the coolest or most awe-inspiring family heirloom or memento that you’ve received from out of nowhere?
[Image via Grand Forks Herald, linked above]