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From Mme Martin to her brother Isidore CF 41 - October 1868.

 

From Mme Martin to her brother

October 1868

I’ve just come from the cemetery. That’s where I walk every Sunday. My father follows me everywhere; I seem to see him suffering. I offered up all the sacrifices I could make during my life and all my sufferings for him. I even made the “heroic vow” (during that time, the expression “heroic act” referred to a spontaneous offering of all the praiseworthy works of one’s life for the benefit of the souls in Purgatory) for his benefit. As for me, when I’m in Purgatory, I’ll serve my time.

So, I think the violent toothache that I’ve been suffering from for several days is going to relieve him. My God! Yet I’m so bored with suffering! I don’t have a penny’s worth of courage. I get impatient with everybody. So much for my beautiful sacrificial acts for my dear father!

I’m overwhelmed with work at the moment. I sold some beautiful lace, and I’ve received orders for more than forty meters. I have, among others, an order for twenty meters of lace that is very difficult to make, a pattern that costs one hundred and eighty francs per meter, to be delivered by December 25.

Since my maid is sick, I had to hire someone to replace her. This person has been here for five days. She stole from me, and I dismissed her this evening. So, I was very disturbed. (She’s the nineteen year old girl that I wanted to send you. It’s a good thing I tried her first.) I’m going to be all alone for a week, that is, without a servant. Mine is going to her parents’ home to rest. I think I’ll have to choose another one. This upsets me. Reliable people are so rare, including my maid who doesn’t have every quality I would like. Oh well, I hope she gets better!

I’m very much afraid that all these details won’t be very interesting to you, nor is there any reason for them to be. But they concern me, and that’s why I’m mentioning them to you.

When you write to me, you’ll make me happy, very happy. For me, it’s one of the greatest joys on earth. I’ve lost some of those I love, and now, the ones who live far away, and whom I can only talk to through letters, console me by sharing their news.

Did you take the picture that my sister had sent to my father two weeks before his death, the one on which she had written, “Dear Father, death is sleep”? (the complete text written by Sister Marie-Dosithée on this picture was, “Dear Father, death is sleep, it is the end of the day when the soul goes to receive the prize for his work, it is the end of the exile where the child finds a Father tenderly loved.”) If you took it, don’t be embarrassed. I’ve looked for it everywhere, so let me know. If you have it, keep it or send me half of it! If you don’t have it, tell me so I can continue looking for it.

 © Society of St. Paul / Alba House

 

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