[in margin: P.S James Murdoch often asks Maggie about you & says he never hears from you]
18th Aug. 1913
Dear John Muir,
I am writing for dear Maggie to bear to you the sad news that our dear "Auntie Lunam" - her dear Mother "passed on" on Friday before dawn (15th) She has been - as you will know a great invalid and helpless for over a year but Dr Black told me she had been exempt from pain to the very end. The funeral took place yesterday when many of the Dunbar people who knew, and loved and respected her followed all that remained of the dear Auntie Lunam to her body's resting place. Gilbert Hay was able to come to the funeral - the only relative - James Murdoch is very frail now and not able to venture so far. You know that my husband James is the same age as Auntie Lunam ninety next Decr. She was 90 in Octr and he is in wonderful health in body and mind excepting a stiffness and pain in the joins when he moves
He takes an interest in every new movement and can read without glasses.
He had a slight attack of some kind last winter in which for a half hour or so he was not able to articulate - but he soon recovered_ Still I have not liked to leave him since then but fortunately when we got word of Auntie's death We, Mr Hay & I were staying for a few weeks at Waterloo close to our son Dr. John - who has a house in the summer there So I was able to leave him in John's care and come to Maggie for a few days in her time of great sorrow. She is worn out with these long months of nursing and anxiety but she has borne up wonderfully although she will feel the lonliness and separation from the dear sweet Mother from whom she has never been separated during all her life.
Some months ago she was fortunate to get a middleaged kind sensible Lady to take the place of the young girls she had always had and this Miss Hornsby has been a great help and comfort
all through these months when "the Mother" was so helpless. I do trust Maggie will be able to keep her for it is so necessary She should have some kind of companionship during her many solitary hours also she is so subject to Bronchial attacks.
Maggie has been telling about a book you have been writing about your younger days - she has not seen it yet but hopes soon to do so and father will be most interested to read it too for many a time he speaks of you and wonders what you are doing & where you are.
Maggie says she will write soon to you & your sisters. I trust you and your dear children are well and happy. How full of interest and wonderful experiences yr life has been. [I wonder?] may hope ever to have a visit from you again? If your daughters or their husbands ever think of visiting the Old Country they will be heartily welcomed by us at Heswell
With kindest rememberancs I am affectionately yours
1913 Aug 18
Original letter dimensions: 26 x 20 cm.
Hay, Annie, "Letter from Annie Hay to John Muir, 1913 Aug 18." (1913). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 4065.
Reel 21, Image 0676
Copyright status unknown
Some letters written to John Muir may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.