The Jervis McEntee Diaries - November 2, 1883

Diary Entry:

Friday, Nov 2, 1883 This is the 29th anniversary of our marriage. I read some of dear Gertrudes letters last night and mine to her written in 1857, the earlier years of our married life. She seemed never able to find words to express her love for me, the sweet and gentle soul that still lives in my inmost heart. This day is always holy to me. Downing and I drove down to Rondout and I did a number of errands among others got paint for the wood house and when came back went to work painting and worked until evening. Before I went down to Rondout Girard came in to see my mother[?] and he and Sara and I went over to my studio to see my new picture "Telling the Bees" I brought it over with me and showed it to my mother as she sat up in bed. Dr. Kennedy called here today and he told Pa he thought he and his brother in law from Stamford would come up [?] make a call this evening. After tea Ma sitting at the table with us, we went to the sitting room I had been reading from the Tribune and was about to read my mother from "Shandon Belles" which I began [?] three days ago. She said she was not much interested but I thought she would be as the story provided[?] and as I took up the book I said jokingly "now I was going to give her another dose" she laughed and seemed amused, asked me to wait a moment, and spoke to Sara who retired with her to her room. But a moment has passed when Sara called to me to come there. I hastened in great alarm and found my mother whom Sara was supporting in her wheeled chair vomiting apparently. Immediately I saw it was blood which came up in copious quantities. I held her in my arms, and we tried to disengage it from her mouth, she turned her eyes up to me and gently passed away. Downing had run down for Dr. Chalker but before he reached here, and he came at once, she had ceased to live. She had coughed and had ruptured a blood vessel in her lungs. What a blow, and what a change in our home in a few brief minutes. Dear mother she lies now in her room, which will henceforth be so completely without her presence, looking so peaceful and so at rest that I try to be thankful and to think of the memories that will come [?] every day henceforth. Dearest, unselfish, useful life, how strange will this home seem now without the dear presence, which seem in her helplessness was such a comfort and blessing to us all. I telegraphed to Mary and to Gussie and wrote to Lucy knowing how needlessly a telegram would shock her. My poor father seems stunned and has not retired (now 11 o'clock) Our dear mother died about a quarter past 8. How thankful I am that I got the little portrait of her. I meant to have painted on it again just a little as it looks older than she did, but perhaps it is as well, for I might have lost what I have secured. She was entirely pleased with it and did not want me to touch it again.

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