Letter: 12 July 1914

To Lora Arnold from Amanda Johnson

Plattsburgh N. Y.
July 12th /14

Dear Sister & all.

I am all alone to day and will try and write a few lines to you the first I have written excepting to the children since Corral left us never to return. It seems as though I had been in a dream or rather a horrid night mare from which I am just now awaking, but you have passed through the same ordeal and so know all about it. It cannot be explained one must go through it to fully realise it. I had always hoped I might be spared to see Corral through as he is so crippled and always looked up to and depended on me so much for everything. As the minister said to me, you have nothing to regret for you have been both feet and hands for him for nearly 19 years. Three weeks before he died, he was taken with short breathing in the night. I did not know what was the trouble. So telephoned Dr Buck, and he was here in 5 minutes. He said after listening to his heart & lungs. "well you have the asthma all right but I never heard of any one starting in at your age to have it." Broad Street had been closed for sometime for repairs and all traffic was on this street and the Dr said it must be from the dust & his sitting on the piarra so much. The spell soon passed away and near morning he had another short one. He never had them only in the night, would feel first rate through the day & sit out in the back yard so as not to get any dust. The last three nights he set bolstered up with pillows in his chair, and rested very well, escaping those spells. On Saturday he said several times during the day "I never felt better in all my life than I have all day" was out every meal and eat well. On Sunday morning the next day I went out to start the fire when he said "you get your breakfast but all I want is a cup of tea and two or three saltines." I said don't you want a piece of toast with an egg" he said no. He drank a coffee cup of tea & ate the saltines. I did up my work, and shortly after I should say about 8-o-clock he went to the toilet & while there a terrible pain struck him in his back then went to his stomach and he tried to vomit but did not succeed in throwing up anything. I got the rocking chair and (drew?) him away from the bath room and while I was doing so he said I guess I weigh more the (than) 110 don't I Manda, as he see it was all I could do to move him for he was heavy. I put his feet into warm water, and as I was doing so he said isn't that foot swollen I said I think it is, but you know it is your poor limb and you have not been walking any for three weeks. I then went out into the sitting room and wrote two letters, when these were done I said I guess I will call up Rob, he replied I would and see how they all are. I said to Rob, This cloudy dark day & your father feels it, does not feel very good, He said I guess I will hitch up and drive down I said I wish you would. I then went back to Corral and what a change I saw in the few minutes I had been gone talking with Rob. I called the Dr and in a few minutes he came and before he had time to fix him any medicine he was death struck. The Dr was so surprised thought he was going right off, but he rallied. The Dr phoned for Seba to come at once, which she did. It was then about half past one P.M. and he lived until 10 minutes of 7. He was not doped and his mind was just as clear as it ever was, only had heart stimulance. He asked me to go & lie down and see if I could not get a nap saying you need it not more than an hour before he passed away. He talked with Rob, Fred, Seba, and Ida all who were here. His last words were, Rob said, Papa are you in any pain? He replied as clear & plain as he ever talked, "No not a particle. I'm all right." The Dr said he had to look the 2nd time to be sure he was gone, that he just stopped breathing, no death rattle and never opened his eyes. He never saw in all his experience one go so easily without a pain or struggle. The Dr was so kind stayed with me all through. He says now it was not the Asthma although the breathing (?) was the same, but his old trouble went to his heart. Rev Kelly was very kind & officiated at the funeral, and the strange part he finished his discourse with the 14 verse of the 22 chap of Revelations which was our Mothers funeral text. There was no singing. The house was full of people, we were surprised as now the people do not attend funerals as they used it (to?). David & Corral came. The casket was oak and we had a slate vault. Diah & Ida stayed with me right until Thursday night since then Esther Ladd has been with me. Sue & Amanda are coming to stay 2 months shall look for them this week. I asked Lib to stay with me for a few days but she would not. She does not seem to think there is anyone excepting the Brelias that are of any account. I do not intend to give up my home, I have lived here so long I could never feel at home anywhere else. I wish you would come out and stay next winter with me, now why can't you close up your home and Seba could care for it while you are away, and Samantha also would be so glad to see you, just you think it over and see if you cannot arrange to come. I have got a dirty, nasty, cold. Diah says it is larnyngitis and catarrh, whatever it is, it is disagreeable enough. Seba is expecting to be sick every day, is feeling very well, but I cannot help but feel anxious about her so many have had bad luck this year. Frances True's dayghter Nellie died with septic posion, leaving two children. I shall be glad when Seba is over with her trouble, as she is getting so tired and wishing it over every day. She as an excellent hired girl and is to have the same nurse so she will not have to worry about the house work. Rob was down last night, all well out there. He said the baby never cried at all the dau Jennie left him to come to the funeral. I reed (read) a long nice letter from Pearl, and wish you would let them read this and thus save me from repeating it. One finds out who their friends are in time of trouble. I did not know I had so many and they were all so kind. I hope this will find you all well and to hear from you soon Lovingly Amanda
(P.S.) What a strange feeling of lonsomeness comes over me and how big, empty, and still the house seems.

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