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From sr Marie of the Eucharist to Isidore Guérin - July 9, 1897.

From sr Marie of the Eucharist to Isidore Guérin - July 9, 1897.

9th July 1897

The news is a little more encouraging today; it has been two days since she last vomited or even coughed up blood. Dr de Cornière is happier this morning. He was asked whether she should be given Extreme Unction and he replied: “Oh! Fortunately she’s not that bad, she could even suffer a few more spells of vomiting blood before she is entirely lost.” – If she can eat, and if she can digest milk she could recover a little; it’s her weakness that’s the most worrying. In short, after a trying day yesterday, we have regained a little hope. Yesterday she managed to keep down at least 7 cups of milk, but without the ice we give her afterwards, I think she would have brought them all up.

I really worried you yesterday, dear Father, but we were worried ourselves and so was Dr de Cornière. If you saw our little patient, you wouldn’t be able to help but laugh; she always has to be saying something funny. Since she has become convinced she is going to die, she has been as happy as a lark. There are times when we’d pay to be near her. This morning, she suddenly started saying: “What if I was one of the two, what then!!...” – We looked at one another, wondering what she meant, and she went on: “Yes, one of the two percent; that would be unfortunate…” This was simply because our Mother had told her that Dr de Cornière had said that only 2 percent of people in her condition recover. And she feared being one of those who recover.

It’s somewhat amusing to see her laugh and to see her mischievous look when she says all this to us. When I told her I was going to write to you to reassure you a little, she said: “Tell them I love them unto folly and that I’m a little girl of contradiction; it’s thought I’m dying, and my eyes aren’t yet rolling back… it’s thought I’m alive, and I’m at death’s door. I’m a pure contradiction, but most importantly, tell them that I love them all very, very much…”

Our Father (Canon Maupas, the Superior of the Carmel) came to see her this morning and exclaimed: “Oh! You’re only trying to mislead us; you’re not about to die and soon you’ll be running about in the garden. You don’t look like you’re dying. Give you Extreme Unction? But the sacrament wouldn’t be valid; you’re not sick enough.” Our Father was a bit harsh, but I think he did this purposefully, for upon leaving he was much edified to see a child with such a desire to die and to see death coming with so much joy.

Once he had left, the little patient was angry with him for not having been willing to give her the sacraments and she said: “Next time I won’t go to so much trouble. I sat up in bed out of politeness, I was pleasant to him, I curried his favour, and he refused my request! Next time I will use pretence; I’ll drink a cup of milk before he comes, because I always look much worse afterwards: I’ll barely answer him, telling him I’m in real agony” – (and she put on a real act for us). “Yes, I see I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t know how to go about it.”

She’s a charming little patient and a very amusing one. All she does is make us laugh; however she’s forbidden to speak lest she tire herself out.

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