My dear brother,
Something has happened to Ma. Ma hurt her leg getting out of the train.
Pa says the doctor1 said it was definitely a fracture.
And close to the pelvis, in the head of the femur.
I was there when it was set, which went relatively well, so that I almost dare think that it’s more probably a dislocation.
The doctor assures us that there’s no particular danger, but that given Ma’s age2 it will take a long time.
I wanted to tell you right away how it was, believing that you would prefer it.
But I give you my word that it’s no worse than I say. For the time being I’ll write to you every day. I’m writing to your rue de Laval address by the same post so that you’ll know as soon as possible, whether you’re at home or you’re in the office.
I’ll write again tomorrow once the doctor has been. It’s a real disaster.
I was painting at a peasant’s, and was sent for. Ma is resting quietly now. Adieu, old chap, with a handshake.

Yours truly,


Br. 1990: 425 | CL: 352
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Theo van Gogh
Date: Nuenen, Thursday, 17 January 1884

1. This was the Eindhoven doctor A.L.K.H. van de Loo (FR b2266).
a. The head of the femur is the name for that part of the thighbone that rotates in the hip socket.
2. Mrs van Gogh had turned 64 in September.