New Providence, N. J.
Dec 28, 1898
From: Ruth Barrell
To: William A Gray
My dear Will:
Mr Hood came in this morning and left an invitation from Mrs Hood for you and I to
be present at a “surprise” party for Jennie and John, on Friday evening this week.
I suppose you will find it hard to get away, but if you could I would like to have you
come out and go with me, as I cannot go alone. No doubt we would have a very pleasant
evening, and as holidays come but once a year and we can only be young once, can’t you
manage to get off Friday evening?
It isn’t so much that I anticipate a great amount of pleasure, for I’d be just as happy
or happier with you alone, but I am afraid the people might feel hurt if we didn’t accept their
invitation, unless we have some very good excuse. Do just as you think best but let me
know as soon as possible so if we cannot go, I will have time to send regrets.
This is a lovely, clear, cold winter day and the river is freezing. I only hope it lasts
and there will be fine skating in the middle of the river by New Years. Then won’t you and I
have lots of fun.
I hung my pretty calendar over the couch in “our room”, and it looks ever so pretty.
You can have the benefit of it alone for awhile, then I can share it with you.
I look forward so much to that day four weeks from this one. O Will, it makes me so
happy, but it has serious thoughts for me occasionally too, but never sad ones in any way.
Any life would be the happiest I ever could, if only I have you to share it. I hope your
financial difficulties will melt away soon. I feel sure you will soon be better in health with
the happy regular life I hope we can lead. O, how happy we can be, alone even, just you
and I. We’re so young yet, then in the coming years how happy we’ll be with our little
blessings, if God wills it so and I think he does, Will. Then we will have a chance to put in
practice all our highest plans and ideals. But it is you I love, first, best and always, for it is
you who will always need me most and I promise you that love through all and over all our
lives come what may or come not, all we wish for. Where is my pen running to? I want
these thoughts to carry my love to you and to make you happier than ever and in no way
sadder. O, what delightful times we’ll have soon talking and planning together.
O, my love, I must stop now so
Goodbye and love and kisses for