My dear friend Rappard,
Just a word to tell you something about what has been preoccupying all of us here these last few days. My mother had an accident getting out of the train, and a serious one at that — since she’s broken her right thighbone.
The setting went pretty well, she’s calm and not in much pain. But I don’t have to tell you that it’s something which causes us all great concern. I’m just glad I’m here because, since my sisters are also weak, I can find plenty for me to do.
My sisters are otherwise not doing badly. The one who’s usually in Soesterberg1 is the weakest.
I can hardly find words to describe how bravely the one who was at home when you were with us2 is bearing up these days. There’s still a lot to deal with regarding my mother — the doctor assures us that it can mend — but at best she won’t be able to walk again for six months, and even then one leg will always be shorter than the other.
Imagine that there’s no doctor in this village (at least my father won’t have him), and so one has to come from Eindhoven, in a carriage every time?3
It’s a disaster — the consequences of which I find difficult to gauge.
Anyway — we obviously have to live from one day to the next, in so far as sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.4
Fortunately she remains calm and clear-headed, and so cooperates herself in keeping things quiet.
Write to me soon — have you started on anything new since I saw you?5
I’m still working on the weavers, but I’m afraid I’ll only be able to work half-time for a long while because of what has happened, which means that a great many other things have to be done.
As I wrote to you,6 I’ve made various studies in watercolour directly from life. I’ll make a start on some watercolours after them, because I have to stay in the house most of the time now.
My mother and my father send their regards too.
My mother had just gone from Nuenen to Helmond by train one morning to do some shopping.
She seems to have lost her footing when she got out of the train at the station in Helmond. She then had to be brought back here in a carriage. It’s fortunate that things are now not much worse than they are, given the form of transport, and that the setting went so well (although it’s bad enough in itself). But still — there’s a lot to be dealt with.
Write soon if you can.
With a handshake in thought.