RR No. 3, Arthur Ont
Jan. 27, 1918.
Dear Mrs. Johns.
Thank you so much for Earl's photo and your nice letter, both of which arrived on New Year's Day. Doesn't Earl look fine ? I'm sure you spend many periods of your time studying his pictures, in civilian and soldier clothes. I am not partial to either but I am glad to have the one in uniform as it makes me think of him as I saw him last, at the first of July picnic just before I left. He looked so much in earnest, as tho' he knew just what lay ahead of him, he had counted the cost.
I did not know until a short time ago that your father, too , had gone. Yes, we expect the older people to go, still he would have been company for you just at this time. We can not understand why things are planned as they are but when we have reached the place where we can say " it is best" we have fought and won. Yes, Earl is better off. You are the sufferers. When we think of the good to follow his sacrifice you must be proud to be his mother. We cannot say when the war will end, nor what shall be accomplished, but take one thing alone, the liquor business. How much manhood, happiness in the home, money for the country, he has shared in saving for Canada. That is only one item.
You are a good brave woman to find consolation in your family, and in sympathy for others who are less fortunate and in helping other lads who are in France..
You have a family to be proud of, kind hearted who will help you and feel their sorrow too, more keenly because of their kindness.
It is a pity for Mrs. Kellet, to think that her only comfort is taken away.. It is very hard for her.
I am sure that you all think that little Margaret is the dearest little being ever. They are so dear at that age. I imagine she is a dear plump little girl.
I hope you are feeling better for health is so important to endure living at times and when you are sick, it seems almost unbearable.
I've been so well this winter. I am still alone. Mother will not be home for two months or more. The teacher is boarding with us. My brother was sick for over two weeks so I was over-seer at the barn, house-keeper and nurse indoors so altogether I was busy and at nights too tired to write. I hope you will excuse this delay in thanking you for the "photo".
Your letter is first off a long list of unanswered mail. I shall want to visit you when I return to your district. I'm fearing George and Edith will have grown so I'll hardly know them. You are a good letter-writer.
Yours as before
Jean M. Spence.