Monday, January 24, 2005

An old letter written to my mother

Here's the content of a letter to my mom from her sister, my Aunt Ruby, written in December, 1938. It just tore my heart out the first time I read it. This was before antibiotics, and you can read between the lines and see that she thought her baby (about age 2 I think) was dying. For the most part, I used her (mis-)spelling. See if you feel what I felt, reading this. By the way, my cousin Gerald is still alive and kicking. Before he was born, Aunt Ruby had lost an infant daughter to pnuemonia, which probably is the reason for a lot of her concern here.

Rippey, Ia.

Tuesday nite

Dear sister Lola:

I was sure glad to get your letter today, Lola. You don't know how much good it done me. It's so dreadful lonesome so far from everyone I know and my dear baby so sick. He has pnuemonia. We have had the doctor twice. He is coming back.

Well now it's Wednesday morning. That's as far as I got when Gerald took suddenly worse. We worked with him till 10:30 then called the doctor back again. He has had convulsions and was out of his head, talked so crazy. He had pluercy and Lola he is still awful sick. The Dr. is coming back again today. Can you every realize how awful it's been. We never got stritened up even and in a neighborhood and don't know a soul. Even had to get a strange doctor. He's from Rippey & he sure seems nice. He has been so good every time he cam but what I want is my baby to get well. The Dr. says he is doing alrite but that it takes time. I wish I was close to some one I knew. Mrs. Hank has been up the last two nites & stayed with us but she has 2 little kids and can't stay away. Poor little Gerald is so sick I haven't wrote Mom yet. We are a mile from the mail box and I can't get away u no. But I thought maybe L (her husband, Lloyd) could go at noon and mail them.

Lola, Lloyd wanted me to tell you to be sure and not mention him not being well when you rite post cards because our mail is rite with theirs and they bring it when they get theirs so don't mention it ever on a card. I think he is improving but we can't think of anything now only our baby.

If little Gerald gets well that's all the Xmas L & I ask for. It is costing a heap but what's money. If you can't have your Lovin little babies so our Xmas won't be what it might. but just so Gerald gets well. I sure did wish for Dr Gunn. It just made me sick to call a strange Dr. but we couldn't wait to get one so far.

I'll be so glad to see you kids come up.

I will stop and send this to the box by Mrs Hunt. The Dr. came again while ago & Gerald is an awful sick boy yet. The Dr will be back again. I'll let u know when I can but u write and come.

Your blue sis


That's my aunt and my mother; my mom's the baby, and she was born in 1912.  So it's an old picture!


debijanssen said...

How hard life must have been back than.  Wow I can't imagine her pain after losing a child allready.  Thanks for the great journaling Debi

barbpinion said...

Heartwarming entry. It brought tears to my eyes. Too many of us take things for granted. Life in 1938 was nothing like it is now. Young as I was, I still remember standing in line with my mother, waiting for a ration book. *Barb*

sanforized6 said...

Old letters, old pictures, same results. You just can feel the cry for help, and see the innocence of youth. So glad it had a happy ending. rich

ryanagi said...

I can't imagine trying to raise kids back then...medicine was SO backward. That photo is really sweet.

lowis6535 said...

Thanks so much for the poignant entry, it brought a smile & warm feeling to read about the happy ending.  How nitty-gritty everyday life used to be!

heyuno said...

That was a real sad letter to great.  I can see where Amber gets her ears from.