W5440 TO MARY BAKER MCQUESTEN from her son, Thomas Baker McQuesten
Mar 6 1906
To: Mrs. I. B. McQuesten Whitehern, Hamilton, Ontario
From: 22 Grosvenor St., Toronto, Ontario
My dear Mother,
Am writing this letter from my house instead of the office as usual.
To-morrow is the seventh of March and I was just thinking the other day that surely a man was never blessed with a better mother in every way. I don't know what it is about you but you seem to demand the best of a man. It is not that you talk much, your discourses are what constitutes the legitimate end of high ambitions, have been few and brief, thank Heavens. There are some worthy mothers whom I have heard devote hours telling their children what they ought to do. [?] are not much the better for it. Whatever we may do be assured of this at least that we know distinctly the difference between right and wrong, and I don't know that any mother can obtain a very much higher result.
It all goes to show that it is example which people want in this world and not precept.
You were always thoroughly consistent, and a youngster, mind you, is mighty sharp to notice inconsistency. He does not recognize it by that term but if it is lacking he notices at least that there is a want of sincerity in his parent. If you have taught us to be unselfish with each other, I don't know whether you did or not, but I do know that I have seen you actually stinting yourself in the matter of food and clothing so that we could have more. And I also know that you have given away a pretty large proportion of your income, which serves to inculcate a much more forceful lesson of benevolence than if you were to devote hours in enlarging upon its principles.
Be that as it may, I do know my dear mother that if I am going to achieve anything and come to you for commendation, I must come with clean hands.
I haven't got much more to say I just thought that a word of appreciation on the anniversary of my father's death might not be ungrateful.
Your loving son,
1 Mary has written on the envelope, "A very precious letter."
Tom wrote this letter to his mother on the eighteenth anniversary of his father's death, which occurred on March 7, 1888; See also W-MCP2-4.037a, Mother to Tom, March 7, 1907)