Letter # 36 - This letter likely dates from 1878 or 1879, since Betje has not yet been born. The letter is from Janís sister Heichiena. It is an amazing story of anguish, for they all feared Jan was dead! No phones or e-mail then.
Dear Brother and Sister,
Also a little letter from me to demonstrate my good health and hope that you find yourselves also in good health. If it were anything else, our hearts would be in sorrow. We were so pleased to get a letter from you that you were all in good health, because in these last days we thought that perhaps you were no more. Mother sometimes thought that perhaps not one of you was left because the fever in America is so severe, and that it had reached you, too. We thought that surely there would be a letter underway. We put our trust in that, otherwise there would surely be news about it from family members. (i.e. ďno news is good newsĒ - ER) Fortunately, however, neither one of those is the case, but you are all good and well.
Thatís how it goes with writing in my case, too, because I am really busy these days. I have some work from my hatmaker. I have a lot of work and also an apprentice these days. So Iím somewhat tied down. At first I had no desire for it, but Iím paid very well and itís just for a short time, so I accepted. If only I could put a little hat for little Mettje in this letter, then she would have something nice from me. But I see no way to do it, so just give her a kiss from me, and Iíd love to see her once.
Now dear ones, I must stop, because I have no more time. Brother Detmer will probably come home tomorrow and then we all together will write you a letter. H. and G. also join us all to send you heartfelt greeting. Your loving sister, H. Rubingh
Greet the whole family for us.