Mary Jane Hawes Wilmarth to Jane Addams, July 28, 1908

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July 28, 1908

Lake Geneva.
Wisconsin.

My Ever Dear!

The tenderness of your consolation failed not of its purpose. Your perception of general loss and pitiableness never does hide from you the individual grief and need.

The inevitable sadness which lies in my heart is not without recognition of the kindliness of Death. When no other remedy can avail, there [page 2] is also thankfulness for the conditions which have left me freer for giving the personal attention and companionship during these years of my brother's invalidation, than I might have done earlier or perhaps could do later, for the mercifulness of little suffering, for the gentleness of the unfastening from the mornings, the quiet slipping away on the last voyage, and for the precious memories of a long and steadfast affection which has never failed me. [page 3]

These most primitive domestic affections which should be as first steps toward the larger out reaching to the human family became a sweet habit of the mind -- not to the brother without a wrench when there is no longer visible or audible sign of response.

If you will come to us here if will be a blessing for us. If there comes a time when the quiet, the space, the verdure call you, above the noise of the streets and the clamor of those who like wayside beggars call to you -- do know there will always be the room -- not a servant in the house but would be enkindled if I should say: "Miss Addams is coming." [page 4] Anna and her children are here now Mr Thompson coming up for [weekends], and she hopes very much that your coming may be while she is staying.

Earlier in the season I thought I might hear you at Madison. I did not know but to come <from there> with Mrs Sumner and Mary McDowell might seem easier for you than a separate leaving home so I asked them to tell you.

Yours with abiding love
Mary H. Wilmarth