Letter # 50 - Jan Rubinghís first wife Jaantje has just unexpectedly passed away, and his sister Marchien responds in this fragment of an undated letter. It must be around May 1, 1882.
Dear Brother and child, through the mercy of the Lord we have received your letters of the third in deep sorrow and saw, dear brother, that your Dear Wife was so unexpectedly taken from your side. Even though we did not know her, it pains us greatly and even though we are so far away from you, we share in your burden. We would so much like to comfort you and come to visit you if only the distance was not so great, and would like to see you face to face and your dear little children. Even though we are far from each other our bond is not broken, and especially now that you are alone you must write us regularly because now we have much concern and especially our Mother. May we all come to the right place with our needs, no matter how great they are. The Lord can fulfill them all and the Lord says yes trust in me even in your great need. How good it is that we seek the Lord in times of health and that now we may think of her as she has gone to her rest.
What must happen now, Dear Brother, must you have someone (stay) with you because you canít just be alone with little Mettje? The relatives are likely distant. Do you have good neighbors, because now you have to look after everything all alone. People just canít imagine how conditions are there. But we hope that the Lord will assuage the pain, and take you and us together under His care.
I have been planning to write you a letter for a long time. My dear brother, on February 21 I gave birth to a stillborn baby girl, and because of all my busyness I let it slide (writing you).
Detmer has not been home this winter, but just then he was home. He came on a Friday and then he went back on board and went to Hamburg and from there he went with a load of foodstuffs to the English Channel and now he must go back to Hamburg with a load of pipe clay. May the face of the Lord shine on him and bring him safely and swiftly to the place of his destination. You are greeted by him. I wrote him yesterday morning that we had received a letter from you.
Greet your family for us and also Dominee Kuiper. We want to put an obituary in the Courant , and our Elziena will inform the family and if you can you must write again soon - and also a few words from dear Mettje.
I better close now because Mother has finished her letter. You are greeted by our children and our family. Having wished for you the indispensable blessing of the Lord, I am your loving sister, Marchien Rubingh