Van Buren, Arkansas
Sunday, Dec. 10, 1950
With your letter of October 23rd before me I see that you are leaving for England on December 15th; next Friday. I do hope this letter will reach you before then, to wish you a happy Christmas and pleasant visit with son, Bill. Do write us soon after you return and tell us all about it all. I'm so glad you can have this pleasant experience, but will be glad when you are back on this side of the ocean. I love you and don't want you too far away. Wish we could see each other more often. You've been my friend longer than any one else you know - since we were babies. The older we get, the more our old friends mean to us, and you know how dear Mama loved you and yours. Your letter of October 23rd gave her so much pleasure, as did your thoughtfulness in writing her on other days as Mother's day etc.
As you said, we were indeed so fortunate to have her for so long. You know she was eighty-three last May 5, 1950. You know what a wonderful character she was. What a sweet, cheerful unselfish life she lived. All who knew her, loved her. She was interested in all that went on around her, and never turned her thoughts inward like so many older people do.
Of course you know how we miss her, for you've gone through the same thing - giving up your dear Mother. And what a dear, beautiful person she was. I'm glad we knew her so long.
On Friday, October 27th, evening, Mama seemed as well as usual, and helped Anna with the dishes (She loved to be doing something to help). I had gone with others to Fort Smith to the last meeting of a Sunday School training class. Arriving home at 9:30. I found her still awake, but in bed. She wanted to hear all about the meeting and I stood by her bed and talked for about twenty minutes, and she enjoyed hearing about it all. Then she told me goodnight and I went into my room that opened into hers, and began undressing. She fell asleep and in about ten minutes, awoke coughing like she had swallowed the wrong way. I thought nothing of it at first, as sometimes she would wake up coughing, and take a pinch of salt to "cut the phlegm" as she said. But this time the salt didn't stop it. I called Anna from her room and when this coughing grew more violent we called a doctor. Our regular doctor was out of town, and we got one here, a new man, whom the Cooper Clinic recommended. He came and thought she had a virus infection which if not stopped would turn into pneumonia. Also, noting that her feet were swollen he said the heart was also involved - but he thought that the third dose of a strong new medicine he had in capsules would check the cough and relieve her as it had for another elderly patient. Then he left - but the third dose didn't relieve the cough but for five or ten minutes, then it grew steadily worse, and that went on for five hours. We called the doctor back, and as he walked into the room she breathed her last, with Anna, Nelson and me all with her still trying but unable to do anything. It was hard to believe for the doctor had told of one he had just pulled through, who was older than Mama. Will Sadler, when he came said that, from what we told him, he believed she had a heart attack and not any virus infection as was thought. Her heart was weakened by her diabetes and pernicious anemia.
Bless her heart, she was so brave through it all. It was sudden, but it was the way she would have preferred, for she always said she hoped she would never have to linger sick a long time because did not want to trouble others.
When we miss Mama most, we try to think of her joy at being re-united with Papa and our other loved ones in Heaven. Thank God for our Christian faith and hope!
Ruth you have such a nice family and grandchildren, I know you are proud of them, and they are of you.
Faye and Ashton will fly up from Little Rock Sunday, December 24th and spend Christmas here. If my cold is well enough (and it is better) I'll go to Charlotte and family in Gary, Indiana, leaving here Saturday, December 23rd. Mary had invited Anna, Judge, Nelson and me to come to Shreveport, La, for Christmas, but Anna and us wanted things so much as possible like they've been before.
We just have a week's Christmas vacation out of school December 22nd - and back Jan. 2nd. They may turn out on Wednesday, Dec. 20th.
I have a neat, nice middle aged couple in my homeplace now. I'm glad you are going to keep your homeplace still in your family. Wish I wouldn't be so sentimental.
Week before last Anna went with Judge Wilson to Texarkana for a week, where he held court. Another couple from his Fort Smith office went too, and it was a nice change for Anna.
Clara Weaver invited Bess and me to spend Thanksgiving with her in Drumright, Oklahoma. It was not a convenient time to go, for Bess had such a cold, and we had a cousin from Texas coming with her husband to see us part of Thanksgiving week, therefore we didn't go. Clara then with a friend went on over to Harry's at Sallisaw. Mrs. Weaver passed away, the middle of September.
Take good care of yourself, Ruth, and we are wishing you and yours a very happy Christmas.
Anna and Judge join me in good wishes,
Much, much love,
P.S. I'm trying to write Jesse and Zara before Christmas. I appreciate
their nice note and yours.