Victoria Park Road
January 7th, 1869
My ever dear Alexander
It is with much pleasure that I once more write to you as it serves so much to bring you to my mind's eye just as you were on the day I parted with you upon the stairs. Do you remember the circumstance? but ere I enter into the past I will wish you, my dear son and your partner in life, dear Andrea, my best wishes that this year may be the happiest one of all that you have passed through and that each succeeding years may bring with them increased happiness.
I spent Christmas day by myself. Uncle -- [torn] kindly -- [torn] public days I consider myself safer at home unless I had someone to accompany me. After my domestic matters were over I spent the evening quietly reading and thinking occasionally of your dear father with whom I had enjoyed so many Christmas days never to return. "The place that knew him once shall know him no more for ever." This is a melancholy thought but I have realized it as a sad reality for me. I hope not for him. I trust he is forever with the Lord and with whom can he be better. Perhaps if he had his choice he would not come to this world again. What a consolation it is to know that we shall go to him. Yes, my dear Alexander, if we are believers -- [torn] love our Lord Jesus Christ --
-- [torn] Walter the eldest son of her second marriage. They were in London almost a fortnight. They slept in Common St. City, [so] that I only occasionally saw them. Your sister was there at times suffering from spasms which still continue frequently. She is under medical treatment. Mr. Evans is healthy - is better looking - much stouter and altogether well. Walter is a nice gentleman-like boy. His father is bringing him up to his business and he promises well. Elijah has just returned to London from spending the holiday. He is now walking the Hospital. I expect to see him on Sunday to dinner. He is a very nice companion and I think he is an open-hearted young man that if there be wrong -- [torn] you know it.
John -- [torn] he was so extraordinary close he has left London and is now with his brother-in-law, Mr. Roberts, at Northampton where I hope he will exert himself but he is a sad "slow coach" so like his father in every respect. I assure you I do not regret his going for he was no companion and required being looked after as much as a child at 8 years old but with all this I believe he is a Christian which is the most desirable trait he can possess. I was often obliged to quote to him the text "Diligence in business" but it was contrary to his nature to be so. I hope he will improve - he now has another chance.
I received a letter from Henry Brown[e] the other day informing me that his brother Horace had had his premises all burnt down without being --
-- [torn] must now my dear Alexander bring this to a close. Present to your dear wife my love. Accept the same yourself from your ever affectionate mother
My wants have all been supplied, dear Alexander. I have much to be thankful for but the Lord has promised to be a "husband to the widow" and a "father to the orphan" -- [torn] he is ever a faithful promiser [?provider] - look to Him dear Alexander & Andrea. He is a friend in need -- [torn] not think I overlook your kindness in -- [torn] this puts all hearts in his keeping -- [torn] we do a good action. He -- [torn]
Adieu, may God bless you both.