I intended to write to Fred, but poor
Father is awake & he seems restless I am
afraid it worries him to see me writing.
Fred shall have a letter on Thursday.
North Shore Dec 6th /80
My darling Lucy,
Many many happy returns of the day my darling. May the Lord bless you abundantly during the year you have now commenced. The master keep you very very near to his dear side – the only safe place for any of us in times of joy or sorrow & trial. Trials have been our portion in the year that is now passing away such sorrow as I never dreamed of [Emma’s daughter died at 20 days] but the Lord has been our support has he not dear? and he will be to the end. Sometimes I think that this one great trial is not to be removed – if not I know we shall have the strength to bear all that may be before us yet.
Poor dear Father – if only I could see him once more resting on the sure foundation I could give him up thankfully – almost gladly [Fred died in 1896]. Pray earnestly for that – not for life but for peace and joy. He is not quite so weak as he was a few days ago – still he is very weak. We cannot get him to take any medicine at all which is very trying – but I am thankful to say that he eats very well though he always says he must not, still he takes what I give him generally. He likes milk and sponge cake better than anything. I sent away the man I had for in Father’s weak state I can manage him very well indeed. He is quieter with me there than any other. He does not like me to leave him for many minutes at a time which makes me so thankful for it is very evident he likes me beside him though he feels he ought not to show it. I seem to need the Lord’s guidance every moment in everything I do about Father. I seem so helpless for I cannot & must not try to reason with him. He is much worse than when we left Invercargill.
Aunt Emma [Aunt Emma probably Emma Matthews, who married Eliza’s brother Robert MacDonald Ada and Lena (Selina) were 2 of her children also Fannie and Lottie] is nearly always with me which is nice company and my landlady is always ready to help me when I am obliged to leave Father for a few minutes at any time. Friends are very kind and sympathizing and I know there are many praying for me. Mrs Goulstone said “We think of you day and night.” She has been over three times & Mr G too since I came over here. They have seen so much of this kind of mental trouble among acquaintances that they understand all about it better than many. Ada & Lena come over sometimes – they are dear girls. You know of course that Ada has left the dressmaking and come home. She is a great comfort now for the servant has left. She might have waited till we could get another I think – but she is a very selfish girl and wanted to go to some picnic so would not stop any longer so that
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Aunt Emma could not be with me so much if Ada had not been at home to see after everything. The yearly examinations have commenced at the High School so Lena is not at school. She was not at school the first half of the year so it would be no use her being at the examinations she would not stand a chance and just now we are very glad of her help at home. Grandpapa [Grandpapa is Alexander MacDonald] is over every day to see us – which is cheering to me. Our sitting room has a very pleasant aspect . We have a beautiful view of the harbour – the sea is only a few yards from the fence – just a road between. Father and I watched the “Te Anau” come in an hour or two ago. I hope she brings me a letter from some of my Invercargill darlings. Mrs Utting was here this afternoon with her baby boy who is just three days younger than our wee darling. I used to look at him and think ours was the same size etc. but now it makes me rather sad to see the little fellow – still we know that all is well with our little treasure. Mrs Utting is so kind and sympathizing you would really think she belonged to the family – she thinks so much of our sorrow. She said today “I don’t know what I shall do if Mr Nutter’s mind is not restored even if it is only for a short time before the end.” So many have been praying that she felt as if it cannot be that the Lord will not answer. Mr Abby came in this afternoon also and Father actually consented to have him into the room. He stopped a very short time – did not say much but prayed for us all. You remember Mr Abby I expect do you not? Will you give my warmest love to dear Mrs Rout. I have been trying to get time to write to her but have failed to do so yet. It is not that I do not think of her and appreciate all her motherly kindness to my dear motherless girls. Oh how I do thank the Lord that you were all spared to me. Dear old Sue I am so thankful she is getting strong again. I hope dear Emma is quite herself again. Emma told me how nicely you nursed Sue, it cheers the old Mother to hear these things. Now darling I must say good night, dear Father is sleeping so quietly – he sleeps a good deal on the whole since we came over here and his appetite is good. Give my very best love to Arthur, Emma, Fred & Sue. I asked Father if he had no birthday message for you, but he only shook his head and looked very sad. Goodbye darling. The Lord bless & keep you very near to himself is the earnest prayer of
Your loving Mother1880-12-6S_ElizaNut_toLucyNut