62, Friars Avenue
Mr John Derbyshire
126, Stevens Avenue
New York 10595
May 7th '78
My darling Son,
As I'm away for a few days, I thought I'd better write you. Phil is taking me to see Mary, who now lives at Snettisham. I'm going on May 11th. Phil will fetch me back on 18th. Dad's O.K, Judy & Phil will keep in touch with him & Auntie Cis not far away. I haven't had a break since I came to U.S.A. Nearly 2 yrs, my, how time has flown.
Dear, I read your letter to Dad, I think it is a lovely letter from a son to his father & I was deeply moved by it. Dad will live in the past, I think especially in old age, one should live each day as it comes. Whats done is over, done with, too late now anyway for regrets! There's just one thing I'd like you to know my love, the love & respect of my children has meant more to me than the love of any man. I may have felt resentment at times, but count myself lucky that I have you, Judy & family, reasonably good health, enough to get by quite comfortably one or two good friends & my home. I'm sorry if I ever did anything to hurt you both in your earlier years, it all seems of no account now. Theres no question of me ever having made any sacrifices, I love you all too much, I wanted you both to have the best. I know now a loving home & family is more than ambition or money. I suffered agonies myself as a child by being made to feel inferior, miners children — in my day were less than the dirt. Even brains didn't count, poor people had no right to be brainy then. You have a lot of your G'father Knowles in you, he was a kind & gentle man, slow to anger, a marvellous sense of humour & great compassion for his fellow men. A loving husband & father, his great enemies gambling & drink. We all adored him. Your G'mother Knowles born & kept very sheltered, married too young — 16 yrs — against parents wishes, never forgiven by a Victorian autocratic mother, had too many children too quickly, but always kept her ladylike ways & superiority, & instilled them into us. I think of them often, how she hurt for us, even so we were always led to believe we were superior to those around us. She had an uncle who was, I believe a Colonel in the Indian Army, she talked of him often, but I never saw him. Your ancestry is nothing to be ashamed of love, never denigrate yourself, we are very proud of you. You know my darling, if you come home we shall be delighted. Do whatever will make you happy. You are always in our thoughts & we long to see you. Let us know how things go. Remember me to all.
See you soon. Lovingly & hopefully
X X X X X Mother
Tess is here, sends you love & kisses