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W4256 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his sister Ruby
Apr 13 1906 Friday morning, date estimated, 1
To: [Rev.] Calvin McQuesten Whitehern, Hamilton, Ontario
From: Ottawa Ladies' College Ottawa, Ontario

My dearest old Cal,

Ever since your last letter I have been going to write to you but with these two distracting sisters of mine time has just disappeared.

Yesterday Mama's letter came and told us how you had arrived home suddenly. Really it does seem so disappointing for you. Can't tell you how sorry I felt. It does seem such hard times that just when so near the [end?] you should have to give it up. Poor old chap I know how long you've been trying to hold on when you felt you must give it up.2 But I'm sure now you have decided it is a relief. I just felt so rebellious about it yesterday it did seem so hard when you were trying to do so much good, and not just trying to help yourself that you should not have been given more strength. So many sort of easy-going worthless chaps have plenty of health and it seemed not fair that you should not be kept up.

When I went to bed that verse came into my mind "The eyes of the lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show himself strong in the behalf of those whose hearts are perfect towards him." Now your main aim in life has been to do God's will and as your heart is perfect towards him as I'm sure the word perfect means,--and I thought, but it isn't so, the Lord hasn't shown himself strong on your behalf for he has let you overtax yourself and not finish your year & so on & I felt rebellious--& then I thought--if we believe any words of God we must believe this and right away the verses came into my mind: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your way and my thoughts than your thoughts." And so it came to me that God was not showing himself weak in your behalf but stronger--"Higher than our ways"--and what seems such a disappointment now is one of the things that is to work out this plan of His, that is so great & good--as much greater and as much better for you than our plans would be as the heavens are higher than the earth. And so it made me feel altogether better about it and we'll just trust if we can't see.

Hilda is just starting off this morning she is taking this little letter rack which I bought from the Chinese store shortly after Xmas. It was the last one left & so the Chinaman insisted on giving me back my change & only let me pay 80 cents for it. You won't want to be bothered with it out West but you can leave it at home till sometime when you want it.

Edna is staying on with me as I think it is providential the way in which she has a place like this where she can be away from home & yet have some member of her family with her. I'm not as good as Tom, but I'll do my best.

Well dear, my minute is just up. How Edna & I both wish we could come home and see you all! But we'd never give over wanting things I fear. For lack of an envelope I'm sending this stylish affair. With ever so much love dear and hoping you'll soon pick up again with a little quiet.

Your affec'ate sister,


1 Date is estimated as likely April 13, 1906. Later in the letter Ruby states that Edna is staying on with her. In May 1906 Edna stayed with Ruby in Ottawa while her mother was leaving for the West with the missionary group to inspect the mission schools, etc. (W5445). Also, in W-MCP2-4.030, dated April 24, 1906 from Mary B. McQuesten (mother), she states that Cal is feeling better and is leaving on May 1 for the West.

2 Calvin suffers from the family's tendency toward nervous disability and he often breaks down under stress.

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Copyright 2002 Whitehern Historic House and Garden
The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
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