W-MCP6-1.417 TO THOMAS B. MCQUESTEN from his mother Mary Baker McQuesten.
Aug 25 1910
To: Thomas B. McQuesten [Whitehern] Hamilton, Ontario.
From: Gravenhurst, Ontario
[note at top] Phone T. C. Watkins & ask if they received my cheque which should have reached them [M?]. Tell them to post receipt.
I think I told you of hearing through Mrs. Miller of a Dr. Stafford in Arizona. Well, I got his address through Mrs. Whittemore. Yesterday I received a letter from his wife, which I enclose and to-day a booklet, which I will send you. 1 This the place Desert Inn which Mr. Chipman spoke so highly of but thought very expensive. Then you will see that the season is eight months of the year instead of four months as Dr. P.'s book said. This put a new aspect on the case and made the going seem more worth while. Before I close this [I] will see Dr. Parfitt. Am also expecting to hear from Geo. Town, if a car can be got at Chicago straight through to Phoenix.
Since I wrote you Hilda and I have been talking it over; this taking a house on the Mountain is no joke, there will be the rental, a certain amount for furnishing, and I doubt if H. could stay there alone with R.[Ruby], tho' she thinks she might. Then we would keep going backwards and forwards daily, which will be a great strain, and Edna will see and hear far too much of it. It would be easier for H. to be just where she had only to attend on R. and have a rest from cooking. She is getting so tired of it. It would be a pretty dreary winter for Ruby and we would be worried looking at her. At home, I think, we must go out for our dinners, that would be a great relief for Mary, and she must get it, for she is very tired too. This hot close weather has been very tiring. If we got a servant she might not cook and that would be no help.
As to the tomatoes &c. What about our peach tree? Are there none on it? You know last year we bought peaches and then gave away our own. If there are enough of them for our preserving we would wait till then, the tomatoes would be too ripe then, I fancy, and plums too.
[I] Heard from Nellie Mullin to-day, but H. wrote her, we thought it best for R. to be quiet. The girls are so tired every thing seems an extra. Let me know about our peaches and we will plan accordingly.
A most comical letter from Mrs. Mullin on the bringing up of the baby.
Well, I have just returned from seeing the doctor again after showing him the booklet of Desert Inn. He says that is a very good place and the place for us, if we went, but he said, we might get her out there, tho' he is afraid she would suffer greatly from exhaustion, but we would never bring her home again. There is an enormous cavity on the top of the right lung and left one much affected.
I am so sorry I let her see the booklet, it is so attractive, and I cannot tell her it is all so hopeless, and yet it seems to me it would be wrong to let her go away out there only to grow worse and worse away from her mother and all her own.
I think too sometimes, that if God intends to heal her, it would make no difference what climate she is in.3
The prices at Desert Inn are reasonable $15 a week and Dr. P. said he had sent a patient there & every thing was very good, nice meals.
Well, dearie, we must pray earnestly that God will guide us at this time for sometimes it seems more than I can bear. So hard to look at this darling child and believe she must go. Take care of yourself.
Your loving Mother,
M. B. McQuesten
[P.S.] Keep the booklet for me.
1 Likely the letter W-MCP6-1.415, which encloses the booklet.
2 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.
We note that Ruby has an anormous cavity in her lung, the family is now exhausted and that the move even to a house on the Hamilton Mountain would be onerous. Ruby died the following spring in a cottage on the Hamilton Mountain, on April 9, 1911, barely one month before her thirty-second birthday.
3 We see that Mary is resigned now to the possibility that Ruby will die, and she attempts to re-affirm her faith in God.