8th August 1928
It is very sad for me to have to reply to your cheery letter of 19 July with the gloomy pictures. Your mother is at a low ebb, apparently heart weakness. Last Monday we gathered around her bed thinking her time was up. She had a smile and a cheery remark for each of us but felt she had done her work and was entitled to rest. She is a dear. Although there are occasional troubles owing to lack of circulation, your sisters take her in hand speedily and help her through. She sleeps a good deal, enjoys the very little meals, and appreciates the kindnesses which surround her. The doctors fear a growth but cannot say what or where or how serious. As the original trouble seems to have nearly passed away there were the theory appears possible. I am going to hope.
A much smaller, but still nasty, business has fallen on me, - a mosquito bite which I got six days ago, has developed into a large swelling on the back of my neck. Francis has taken it in hand and is applying fomentations, as she did to your hand last time you came home. I have not been able to go out for three days. I suppose it will seem trifling when it has gone, but it is a nuisance just now.
Your sisters seems to have abandoned the idea of a seaside holiday and are all practising hard as nurses. As regards George - I think a cold is a closing of the pores of the skin. A hot bath will open them but it leaves them open and very liable to the closing again. Good exercise is the best thing if it can be taken, - otherwise opening medicine and a little reduction in the quantity of food.
I can understand that you appreciate the advantages of getting quickly from one place to another. Motorcars are getting very numerous here and there is a long list of fatalities every holiday and many other days. I guess you have a bit more freedom but have traps we do not suffer from here. With omnibuses running in every direction I get some of the advantages of easy transit at less cost, less worry, but of course not so fast or delightful as entire independence of crowds and waiting at the stopping places. You would not give up the car, - I would rather not be bothered with one.
I dare say Monday’s Times will have reached you when you get this but you may like to have the last account of the Olympic Games. Of all the games, the marathon interested me most is a test of endurance. The women’s contests are also rather new.
I don’t like the thought of leaving you on tenterhooks about your mother and can assure you we will cable if there is any decided change one way or the other. Her charming serenity is a great help. Although she is still rather brown and thin I find her still most lovable and attractive.
With dearest love to you and George,