Letter # 21 - Janís sister Marchien and her husband Detmer are at sea and their daughter Elziena is staying with Janís mother. Another sister, Griet, is also unwell and living there now. Grietís husband operates a barge on Hollandís canals.
Wildervank, April 28, 1874
Dearly loved son and Daughter,
By this means Iím letting you know that through the unmerited goodness of the Lord we all find ourselves in fairly good health, although often my body feels weak and lately it is not any better. Nevertheless, through our Godís goodness I am reasonably healthy and I hope and wish, dear ones, that you may receive these letters from me in the best of health. We had been looking for a letter from you for a long time, dear ones, but Iím afraid that you also were expecting for a long time already a letter from us and from our Griet, but she has been weak for a long time. She now wants to write you herself.
It is often so busy here that I donít even have a second of time left over. We have little Elsiena from our Marchie and Detmer boarding with us, and our Heigiena has a lot to do at present and our Griet is also here now and then because she could not yet go along on this trip. So she stays in Detmerís room and Marchien is in that of Taaden. Marchien has gone along on board this spring. Last week we received a letter from her. They are in London and were all in good health. They have to take kriet (?) to the salt works again. She said that if we wrote to you we should surely send you her greeting.
In the last four weeks several more people have gone from Staadskanaal to America. That includes Hendrik Dekker and his wife and I believe also grown children. That is a brother of Mrs. Dikís first husband. They are both over sixty years old. Her son went to America five or six years ago. I canít keep it all straight just now. That old lady had two brothers living there as well. They wrote that it was going well with her, but maybe that was somewhere else. Donít you ever meet anyone you know?
Dear ones, so often I am with you in my heart and thoughts, and with little Mettje. When we see Elsiena we often say if only little Mettje could be here once! And dear ones I think so often if only on one side or the other (of the ocean) we could hope to see each otherís faces once again. What a comfort that would be! I am not unaware that I am not in control and everything is in the Lordís hands. May the Lord grant that we rest in his counsel. He is able to fulfill all our needs as to soul and body. He can also cause the light to shine out of the darkness. May we daily more clearly perceive our dependence on him. May the Lord give us, dear ones, to pray for each other to that end. Now dear ones may the Lord be our Counsel and Guide in all our ways.
I donít have many more specifics to relate. Jurie Bak died this spring, but in general there is not much sickness around here. Now dear ones I hope that you may get these letters in the best of health. I hope that you wonít think that my delay is from indifference. I hope, dear ones, that if you havenít sent a letter (recently) that you will soon do so. If you can add anything, then we will reply speedily. Now dear ones you all together are heartily greeted from me. May the Lordís indispensable blessing of soul and body be yours. I am your loving mother, Mettje Jans Boer
You must above all be greeted by our Heigiena with the hope that you will soon write. Once more heartfelt greetings from your mother, M J Boer