Robert and family lived at Wilton Crescent which is today part of Dundas Street East, between Jarvis and Sherbourne Streets, from approximately June 1881 at least until December 1882. As Susanna’s condition deteriorated, she required levels of supervision and medical care than Rob and his family could not reasonably provide. Her letters at this time are increasinly banal full of comments on family members illnesses and travels with a correspondingly healthy dose of her own physical conditions, noting the difficulties and deteriorations caused by aging always motivated by the morbid (and inevitably accurate) conviction that she faced imminent death.
This is the last known surviving letter written by Susanna who for the last two years of her life was increasingly troubled by dementia or quite possibly Alzheimer’s disease.
Excerpt of Letter to Catherine Parr Traill in Lakefield, Ontario:
December 25th, 1882
My dearest Sister – I wrote myself by postal early last week to tell you that I was a little better. My lungs have been tested by an able Physician. Right lung sound – left much affected also Bronchial tubes. There’s some hope, but not much, owing to my feeble state – System very low – I am quite resigned to God’s will – Your letters very precious to me. Many thanks for pretty Cards. I am well taken care of will let you know if able to write on the 7th. A happy Christmas to all the dear ones at Lakefield.