Letter # 35 - Jan Rubinghís mother, Mettje Jans Boer Rubingh has been a widow for 15 years, since 1863. This letter like the others, does nor bother with periods, or capital letters at the beginning of sentences. The Grietje referred to is Janís younger sister, born in 1847, and 31 years old at the time of this letter. She, like sister Marchien, married a seafarer. Iím struck by how this letter, like the preceding ones, is so full of piety and love.
Wildervank, August 22, 1878
Dearly Loved Son and Daughter,
We received your letter written on June 20 in fairly good health, through the undeserved goodness of the Lord. From it we noted your good health. However, our Griet has been really ill for a couple of months. Once she had such a huge nosebleed that we could barely stanch it, and she had a fever with it, so that sometimes we feared the worst. She had to stay with us in our house, because they actually have no house on land. The Lord has thus far again given some initial restoration. She went to Groningen to the Professor. He said it came from the blood flow and that therefore she is so weak. Now she is back on board again. They loaded flax in Groningen and had to take it to Holland. We have had no news from them for 24 days. We hope that the Lord may grant that she may speedily be completely restored. Whenever they write, we must always greet you when we write.
Our Marchien is also on board ship and we donít know whether or not they are at sea. As I was writing that, we got a letter, dear ones, that they reached Rotterdam safe and sound. Now if things go well our Marchien will come home. You are warmly greeted from her; that was in her letter.
But with the shipping, it is currently so bad with regard to earning something; worse than itís ever been, both inside (the Netherlands) and outside.
Now Iím writing you this letter, dear ones, because you wrote us on June 20 that within a short time you wished to send us a bill of exchange and that we should immediately write you if we actually received it. You didnít specify a time, dear ones, but I thought that if nothing came in the way then the time now would have passed. So many fears arose in me because you wrote that you wanted to get out of the house, and formerly you wrote that there was no Bank near you. I have no knowledge of such things.
You canít imagine, dear ones, what concerns arise within me. There is so much evil in the world. People are experiencing that every day only too often, and that will be true there as well. Now, dear ones, if Iíve been too worried or premature, forgive me.
Dear ones, I know that by being worried one canít add one ell (a small measurement) to his length, and that makes our lives so worry free, that sometimes we find the opposite within us. May the Lord grant, dear ones, that we may simply rest in His direction.
If I could express it better on paper, I would write you more often, but I just canít do it as you can. I often canít get our Heichien to write.
Now, dear ones, I better quit. May the Lord grant that you receive these letters in complete health, but also that on receiving this letter you will immediately write back. If thereís a letter underway that we donít have as yet, youíll be able to see that from the date.
So I wish if itís the Lordís will weíll soon w-rite. Now, dear ones, I desire that the Lord may mutually be our guide in all our ways. Now that Iíve wished for you the indispensable blessing of our Lord for body and souls, I am your loving Mother, M. J. Boer.
Also receive the greetings of our Heichiena. Give your little Mettje a kiss. My desires and thoughts are with you more than I can write.