October 23, 1902
Heartily best wishes to your birthday today sends you,
Dear Minna, from your dear, your loving Theodor.
I am sorry I can’t congratulate you myself. I am in a house I think always that the dear God will let me go soon to my family and then we all will celebrate your birthday together. So Fathers and children will eat and it will taste good.
Dear Minna. Today they pumped out my stomach again. Maybe things will straighten out without cutting. I pray every evening to our dear God that he will help and soon make me well, so I can go to you and the children. This morning I cried again. I think the whole day about you.
Dear Minna, don’t go and get the sick money, but go this Saturday about noon over to Mr. Kohle and ask him if you can get anything for the family. Also talk with him, because if you go and get the sick money, we cannot claim any pay.
Dear Minna, be so good and get a quart of wine for me, by Borsdorf. But only the best. Just tell them it is for me and put it in a bottle. Also the felt slippers, because my feet are always cold. Bring also the thick book, on top of the closet, the new magazine. Also about the sick money (probably a hospital insurance) you have to go first to Mr. Reiter in the hospital and get a slip of paper. Then you can go to the Government Insurance Office (something like Medicare). But before you do this, go first and talk it over with Mr. Kohler and ask him if you get something for the family. Two to three weeks I will have to stay here yet. An operation I will not have to have, things will go. The bowel moves, too. I am satisfied the way things are going.
Best greetings–your Theodor–for a healthy seeing you again, till tomorrow.
Nice greetings to my Frieda, Walter, Willi, Klarchen (Clara) and my Ottchen (Otto).
Your Pappa, Husband and Father
But children be good. Otherwise you get no Yezlin.
Unfortunately Theodor died 23 November 1902.
Clara, Theodor’s daughter, wrote the following:
“Father worked hard and he made a good living. He worked hard as a stone cutter and one day he and another man had to lift a large stone down from somewhere. Father was at the bottom and this other man at the top. The stone slipped and Father, not wanting it to fall and break, held it with his chest, it must have pushed real hard to the inside of his chest. He started to have pains in his chest. They got worse so they decited to operate but somehow it didn’t work right. Food couldn’t go down in his stomach. He died Nov 23, 1902 leaving Mother with a small family to raise. She was only 33 years old and a widow.”
Theodor was only 33 years of age at the time of his death. Clara went on to write, “He was a good husband and a good Father.”
This is another letter sent to me by my cousin, Deanne Driscoll, from her grandmother’s collection. I posted another letter here.
The picture below is one I took in 2008 while waiting for the train back to Dresden.
Meissen, Germany, 2008