I want to tell you in a few words something which our minds
are full of these days. My mother had a pretty serious accident
getting off the train - she broke her right
thighbone.1 The setting of the fracture went off
rather smoothly; she is quiet and does not suffer much pain.
But I need not tell you that we are all greatly worried about
My mother will require a lot of nursing - the doctor assures
us that she canrecover completely - but under the
most favourable circumstances it will take at least half a
year before she can walk again and even then that leg will be
shorter than the other one.
Just imagine that at present there is no doctor here in the
village (at least my father will have nothing to do with the
one there is), and so a doctor from Eindhoven must come in a
cab every now and then.
It certainly is a calamity - the consequences of which I
think are hard to foresee. Well, of course we must live from
day to day, as sufficient to the day is the evil thereof.
Fortunately she is quiet and clear-headed about it, so that
she is co-operating to preserve the necessary calm.
Please write me soon. Have you started something new since I
I am still working on the weavers, but I'm afraid I'll be
able to work only half time for a while on account of the
unfortunate event, which has resulted in a lot of other things
As I wrote you, I have done several watercolour studies
direct from nature. I am going to start more elaborate
watercolours after them, for I have to stay at home most of the
time these days.
My mother and father join me in sending you kind regards. My
mother had taken the train from Nuenen to Helmond in the
morning just to do some shopping. As she was getting off the
train in the station at Helmond, she seems to have missed her
footing. They had to take her home by carriage. It is indeed
fortunate that, considering this transportation, things haven't
turned out much worse, and that the setting of the fracture
went off so well (though it was bad enough, considered by
itself). But all the same - a lot remains to be done.
Write soon if you can. With a handshake in thought,
Ever yours, Vincent
See letter 352 to Theo of January 17, 1884.
At this time, Vincent was 30 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Anthon van Rappard. Written c. 18-20 January 1884 in Nuenen. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number R39.
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