February 10, 1889
|Siegelau, 10 February 1889
Finally I take the time to write you a few lines, dear Brother, I saw that Father wrote you that our youngest child died, which caused us great pain, and again we have sad news for you, that is, our cousin Fidel suffered a stroke suddenly and died.* Today we buried him. He had been ill for some time and was in the hospital in Waldkirch. It was there where he died. Since he had said "Father" in the presence of his doctor and that he did not want to be buried in Waldkirch, but brought to his Father's house in Siegelau and from there into the cool earth. Today the earth was indeed very cool. It was storming as hard as it could and we could hardly get through.
From your last letter I can see that you were not very happy and that you feel something like homesickness. I can well believe that for the wound fate inflicted upon you will not have completely closed yet.** God willing perhaps your life would be more joyful now side by side or next to your bride or perhaps your dear wife by now, and you would be able to do without your home country, but the proverb is true: It is impossible to come to terms forever with the power of fate. It has perhaps seemed to you that not once as you poured out your heart to me, I did not have a single word of solace for your sore heart. Do not criticize me too much for that as being unfeeling. I regretted your loss with you and could well believe, since I have loved, myself, and still love, what a harsh pain it was to lose suddenly a human being on whom one has built all one's hopes. I can also see that your health is not all that good, which is not good either, as one has to be with strangers very far from home, and when you can not quite decide to return home. You say that you have become too used to life in America and that your work is too hard. Perhaps you could find some easier work somewhere where you would not be so far from your family as you are in America, but you will think that I am writing a lot of nonsense, particularly I who do not even know the serious side of life very well and do not know what it means to be far away without a soul sharing everything good ar bad.
Dear Brother, even if I do not write you often, my thoughts are with you often, nevertheless, and if I could give every thought to paper you would receive more than a letter every week. And how often I dream of you and every time we are still in our father's house, and you are either just arriving or have been therte for quite some time, and we experience joy or hardship, depending on circumstances, and please forgive me my childish simplicity. I submit every traveling craftsman who comes by to ask for some alms to a very close inspection. I cannot get rid of the thought you could come and stop by at my door and I would (not) recognize you so that you could laugh at me afterwards, and with everyone I give something, I think that perhaps my dear brother knows of it, as it is probably better to receive something good from strangers and I think that the good Lord should do for you what I do for others.
From your last letter I learned that our brother in Freiburg had written to you and that you enjoyed his letter very much. I do not think of him half as much as of you, for he is well and every Saturday receives a bag of provisions from home, which perhaps he wrote you about too.
Now however I want to conclude my letter soon. While I am writing it has almost turned eleven o'clock and all my dear ones are asleep, for you can well imagine that during the day there is not a quarter of an hour that I can find undisturbed where my little dear children will not look for their mother. However, all of us that can understand they have an uncle in America have told me to send their best regards to you before they went to sleep, especially Victoria. Grandfather often says now that they will have to write a letter to their uncle in America.
While I am writing it is snowing and storming outside without pause. So far it had not snowed at all this winter.
The only news I have left is that all of us are well and that all send their best regards, particularly your sister and her husband.
Now I am going to write you again sooner, even though it will be full of mistakes and nonsense. I think it will be welcome anyway. Please write again soon about everything that afflicts you, for I feel with you.
*Fidel was Rosa and Dad's Uncle, but the term "cousin" is also used for other relatives.
**Referring to death of Julia Gosch (Mother's sister) in December 1887, whom Dad first loved.