Letter # 2 - This is the first letter from Jan Rubinghís mother, Mettje Jans Boer Rubingh. She had already been a widow for seven years. The letter is in horrid condition, brown with age and water-stained. Jan Rubingh has been in America less than a year.
Wildervank, February, 1870
Dearly loved Son and brother,
Through the blessing of the Lord we received your letter of December 31 in good health, and from it with joy we understand that you also are enjoying good health. We also had an earlier letter from you, and we had planned to write you, but Brouwer also wrote a letter to Dominee and mentioned in it that you had made profession of faith. This caused us to rejoice greatly because, my dear son, if we decide in truth to declare the death of the Lord for us, how great a cause for rejoicing that will be in eternity! For it is the free good pleasure of the Father which out of eternal love and free grace has brought us to it. How it behooves us now out of thankfulness to exalt the Lord for all his benefits, but for this we are dependent daily on the indispensable Spirit, that he may head and guide us to do that. Oh, may our Wigten also be brought to this point someday!. May it be granted to us to pray much for one another. After all, the Lord is an omnipresent God. That thought sometimes comes to me in the quietness when your going away hurts me so much. For oh, my beloved son, the changes and vicissitudes in this life are now and then so great that often it arouses great anxiety in me.
Our Marchien is engaged to Detmer Dekker and will probably get married in the spring. He lost his ship for the summer, but likely will get another, and then they probably will get married. Youíll possibly think that all his difficulties will be put on me. But I consider him a good person, and on his side they are taking care of everything for the wedding. I hope to leave everything to the leading of Godís Providence. Now my dear son, I cannot neglect to let you know about it. May the Lord allow us to rest in his will. Now dear son, perhaps you are thinking that everything is going in a different direction, and that in the future weíll not often be able to Ö.. (illegible here.)
I gather from your letter that the mills and railroads are at a standstill and that you are now by the farmers in Holland (Michigan). Now, my dear son, I canít really make a judgement about what would be good for you. You can see that better than I can since you are right there. I wish for you that the Lord will give you wisdom, energy, and strength and that the Lord may bless you in your undertaking. It often pains me that I canít just make everything come out good for you. Also that the Lord may grant that we may see one another face to face in good health.
Meijer de Leve recently was chatting on the street and simply sank down dead. The shoemaker Harmbaas died just as suddenly. Mrs. Dubbelboon and Nella Groen and A. Veenhoen and his wife all died this year. Kien Bos and his family has been in Rotterdam the entire winter and is busy there with his lumberyard. When they come here and sit awhile, they really go on talking, and Iím not able to keep up or counter anything. I talked about it with Grandfather, and he said he also had problems with them. You know what I mean.
My dear son, may the Lord so direct everything so that it all comes out right. I canít do anything more for you, although I want to so much. Pass my greetings on to those you meet who know me. You didnít state clearly where we should write. I hope that it will reach you. Now my dear son, I must conclude, for other wide I fear that the letter becomes too thick. Also if you can, donít wait so long to write. Now may the Lord grant that you get this letter in good health, and that we may see one anotherís faces in the land of the living. That is the wish of your loving Mother. Many greetings from me and from many friends and acquaintances. M. J. Boer