W-MCP6-1.393 TO THOMAS B. MCQUESTEN from his mother Mary Baker McQuesten
Aug 22 1910 Monday Morning [estimated Aug. 22 or 29, 1910]
To: Thomas B. McQuesten Whitehern, Hamilton, Ontario
From: Gravenhurst, Ontario
[Written at top of page] When rent comes in enclose me a five.
I do not want you to feel that you must come up for Labour Day. The time is so short till we will all be home, and it is so provoking that so much of the time is spent on the road, and it costs quite a bit and we need to be as careful as possible. You might perhaps want the day to look round for a house and later we might need your help to bring R. down. I saw a house advertised on Hess south of Aberdeen for sale. I wonder if it could be rented, but it might be a large expensive one. Apply to M. Brenner & Co.--If you saw a small house in a suitable neighbourhood with a good sunny S.W. aspect, would it pay us to buy it, if we couldn't rent? How would it do to telephone Miss Buchanan if she knows of any place, she might think of some place? I also wondered if that person Dr. Arnott knows of has her own house still, and would let us come in, if it were in a desirable locality. 1
Tho' I spoke of using our dining room, I am a little afraid on Edna's account, we all need to be away from the trouble some time, 2 but we want to be near tho' not on a car-line. Is there any place towards the golf grounds?
Poor old Quince gone and the old apple tree, it would likely need to be all taken away.3 I always think Tuesday is a good day for getting fruit & if next week is not too early some girl will go that day D.V.[God willing] if it is too early will go the next week. Reding could be instructed to get them that day, also peaches and green gages. Other years we have done 5 or 6 baskets of tomatoes, two baskets of peaches makes 16 bottles of peaches, and some green gages. They will keep alright till the next day and I can write Rachel to be there on the Wednesday to help. If you choose you can go to market and buy yourself. You could not do this if you came up here of course.
Noted all you said dearie, and have thought the same, but feel my strongest prayer has to be for faith to believe always in God's love and wisdom. So many things are contrary to our idea of what is best for every one.4
Your loving mother,
1 The family has determined to bring Ruby home to Hamilton as she requested, rather than sending her to Arizona. Ruby died almost nine months later on April 11, 1911 in a cottage on top of the Niagara escarpment above Hamilton.
For more information on Ruby's illness, Consumption (tuberculosis), see W6135, and for Ruby's biographical sketch, click on "Family" on the Home Page, and then on her picture.
2 Edna was very sensitive and prone to emotional breakdowns. See W2511, W5665. It appears that about this time Mary has resigned herself to the fact that Ruby is dying and while she wants Ruby to be at home or nearby, she does not want to put Edna under the strain of watching her sister weaken and eventually pass away.
3 There is an old Quince tree today in the Whitehern garden in the SW corner near the stable.
4 This exchange suggests that Mary and Tom have resigned themselves to Ruby's eventual death, and Mary is struggling with her faith in God.