From Mme Guérin to Céline - July 29, 1892.

From Mme Guérin to Céline - July 29, 1892. 

La Musse 29th July 92

Dear little Céline

Here I am at last to talk to you for a bit! It’s high time, is it not? And it’s very bad of me to make my dear little goddaughter wait so long. And yet, I haven’t forgotten the little daughter of my heart, but I’ve had so much to do, so much moving, so much walking, etc., that today God has deemed fit to make me rest a bit in order that I might give my dear exiled children a sign of life. I will first begin by telling you how happy I am that all the family in Lisieux are showing you so much affection. I’m addressing you in the singular because I heard that Léonie is in Caen (on a week-long retreat at the Visitation). To say that I was not upset by this at first would not be the truth. I was cross that she should leave you alone like this at this time. Then, after careful consideration, I understood that you had been a good little sister [1 v°] who had made this sacrifice for her happiness and I thought that you had been able to do what was right. I am therefore in bed this morning, busy writing to you at only eight o’clock while Marie and her father are at Mass in Arnières to celebrate St. Martha’s day. We already went on Tuesday to celebrate St. Anne’s day. I was able to go that time. I found the church a bit cleaner. First Communions had taken place on Sunday, and the altars were decorated with fresh flowers. On Wednesday we took Joséphine to see Evreux. We took a lovely walk.

I can see from the letters I have received that your papa is fairly well. You must tell us the truth. Your servants are very proper and wait on him hand and foot, you say. I’m very glad about that. I hope that our absence won’t seem too long, my poor recluse.I think of you often. You know that a mother never forgets her child. [2 r°] It is true that I am a funny mother to abandon her children like this to savour the delights of a holiday. But my heart is always present; it secretly makes many trips to Lisieux and Caen to be near its loved-ones.

My little Marie is very cheerful. Although she misses the company of her dear little sisters very much, she accepts her sacrifice joyfully. And yet, I know it is very real. Are things not always like that in life? There is always some sacrifice to make. You know this very well, my darling, and in that respect you are an example to us. I hope your dear father continues to be well and that you will not have too many problems. Whatever you do, find some distractions; and don’t fail to come and see us on the 8th. Arrange everything with Jeanne, dot all her ‘I’s so that there will be no misunderstanding (in fact, Céline would arrive in La Musse on the 11th, probably with the La Néeles). I can hear Tom [2 r°] barking, which reminds me that your uncle almost regretted having brought him. He feared he had deprived your father of a distraction. On the other hand, poor Tom is very happy here. He is enjoying the freedom he can’t have in town.  

If you see Clémence, you can give her good news of Joséphine. Her health appears to be quite good to me. I can’t write to Mama; would you, when you see her, give her your news. I wrote to Marguerite yesterday and sent her a lovely cantaloupe.

Farewell, my dear little Céline, excuse my scribble, I am in an uncomfortable position, as you know. As long as my thoughts don’t feel the effects of it too much; that’s the main thing. I send you all my love and kisses and ask you to give my love to your papa. Your uncle and little sister do the same and we ask you to pass on all our best wishes to the whole family. Keep the best kisses for yourself. Miss Joséphine sends you a thousand greetings.

Your wholly devoted aunt

C. G.