Spencer writes four long letters in December and he almost seems like a different person than in his October and November letters. Perhaps the furlough in early November revived his spirits.
McOmber does complain that his mother hasn’t written but he rarely mentions his health except for one or two occasions. What is most impressive in December are two topics.
First, Spencer seems to have been given a significant share of responsibility in caring for the patients in the hospital. His work with the patients and visits to the dissecting room of some hospitals seems to have encouraged him to think about becoming a doctor.
Second, for someone who was routinely talking about poor health and lack of money, he has been keeping up a very active social life. He is visiting museums, theaters, and even the opera. He has even been a guest at dinner and dance.
It is hard to believe that less than two months earlier Spencer had written home telling his mother he didn’t think he had long to live.