Letter # 73 - This incomplete letter from Janís mother is written in her 83rd year. Her hand is firm and her mind is clear, though she mentions her infirmities. She has been a widow for 29 years. Her strong faith is obvious, as always.
Wildervank, May 5, 1894
Dearly Loved Son and Daughter and children,
Through the undeserved goodness of the Lord we have received your letter of March 4 in reasonably good health and from it we noted with joy that you were all well. May the Lord give us (the grace) to acknowledge these good gifts thankfully. You can understand, dear ones, how wonderful it is at such a distance from each other still to hear that your dear children are all so well and can go to school to learn something.
They can write sometimes as though we are actually talking with each other, but I can well understand that you still just canít forget your dear Mettje. I feel that loss, too, at times along with you. That happens because we sometimes make great plans, dear ones, and often do not recognize that the Lord says in his Word, My ways are not your ways, and so here there are often disappointments. The loss of your Father was sometimes really hard but then I was confronted by the first question of the (Heidelberg) Catechism, ďWhat is your only comfort in life and death? That I with body and soul both in life and death am not my own but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.Ē That whole answer changed me and quieted me. Living so far from each other is sometimes so hard, but then when death adds to that, it becomes even harder to bear. May the Lord be for us mutually our Counsel and Guide on all our ways and grant us to rest in all that he does.
Right now we are deprived of a Pastor, although in the last while I have not gone to church much at all. In the winter I am susceptible to colds and my strength diminishes. Also walking is hard for me and my eyesight also is not great, and that also is not surprising. Dear ones, you likely know that on July 19 I will reach 83 years but apart from that I remain in good health.
On Sunday, April 19, Dominee van Hoogen delivered his farewell sermon, using Acts 21, verse 12 and following as his text. Since he was not to be dissuaded we were at peace saying, ďMay the Lordís will be done.Ē He left here on Friday, April 2. I also listened to his preaching with great satisfaction and he held our attention. We wonít easily find such a speaker again. But when it came to visiting, he could do it more. He was always brief, but in sickness or whenever we needed him, he was there. The previous Monday he came by to bid us farewell.
This entire spring the weather here has been fine, almost like summer, but now in May itís really cold. The potatoes are already showing above the ground. There are farmers who planted 20 to 25 .......of potatoes. Last year they were cheap; they provided little profit, but otherwise they were really good.
I canít give you any other news right now that you would recognize. Jakob Tekken recently died; he was 86 years old.
I was delighted, dear Daughter, that you also wrote a little about yourself and your family. It is nice that you have family there with you. How is your Mother? Perhaps she is not in America. If you can, you should write a bit again. We can read it very well. And you, dear Bettje, if you write us then we will also become......