Sunday, May 13, 2012

Burn This Letter! A Mother's Day Tribute

Probably from September 1917..Marion Blair and kids

I have decided where to start Biology and Ambition the story of Marion Blair in the 1910 era, the follow up toThreshold Girl about sister Flora and Diary of a Confirmed Spinster about sister Edith (all part of a big volume called School Marms and Suffragettes.)

I will start it with this war time letter from her husband. 

He is home in Montreal  being watched over by his sister in laws, Flo and Edith. He is not happy.Marion is with her mother in Richmond with her babies very likely. Flora is a teacher, so not at work and Edith is at this time, I believe, working for Sun Life Insurance. And there's a lot of war work, volunteering.

I'm guessing Marion, with two young kids, is in no rush to get home to Westmount.  I have other era letters than say the house gets hot...and there's fresh veggies and butter at Richmond. And all her friends are there too, mostly being teachers so not working.  In another earlier letter Marion is telling her mother about all the local gardens cropping up in Westmount and she sort of mocks the city folk, who she suggests have no idea what they are doing.

It's getting towards the end of the war her. In two months Edith and Marion will be visiting their friends the Tuckers in Montreal who learn they have lost their son Percy. Then they learn he is alive. Then they learn he is dead. I don't think they felt sorry for Hugh. Married men didn't have to go to war in Canada. Hugh would be about 40 anyway.

July 26, 1918

Hugh to Marion

My dearest sweetheart,

I cannot express in writing how pleased I was to hear your voice over the telephone a little while ago and was very sorry when I learned that due to the circumstances, you were not able to come home…Dearest, I have never written you on this strain since I have known you and before I say what I have in mind, I beg of you to please try and understand it in the light that I mean it. 

For Marion, dear, I love you with all my heart and it is because of my affection for you that I try to pave the way a little. I honestly, would not intentionally hurt you Marion. 

Now sweetest, here it is: You know, Dear, that you have left me alone at different times for indefinite periods, but may I say that I have never yet found one month to be as long as this one. 

Really, it has seemed to me almost like years. I would a thousand times rather be left entirely alone than to be left again with the girls, as I cannot get them to do anything which appears to me to be reasonable.

 I have come home on several occasions and the front and back doors were not locked. They will not close the windows and the house is almost like an oven. They forget to order food. The refrigerator is left open; the ice is melting as fast as you can put it in. 

Cawlice. (French swear word, euphemism for chalice)

Water is running all over the floor and things are lying about. I am sick and tired of the whole place.

 Take pity on me Darling before I go crazy and come home to me to look after and love me. *but under no circumstances take chances (with mother's health). 

 Take it from me, God help the poor man that gets either one of them, if they don't change. You can do more in five minutes than they can do together in a day. You have forgotten more than they'll ever know. 

God bless you Marion and may it be God's will that he can spare you to me for many long happy years.


PS. Don't fail to burn this when finished reading.