From Céline to Jeanne Guérin - March 29, 1889.

From Céline to Jeanne Guérin. 29th March 1889.

29th March 89.

Dear little Jeanne,

I thank you for your kind letter received this morning, we are very pleased when we see Miss Olive with her radiant air bringing us a sealed envelope. I leave my painting and brushes immediately to read the beloved news from my dear Lisieux.

It’s wonderful that you are settled into your home, for before you were not at home, it was a commercial property. You’ll see how much you will appreciate this family-devoted life you are beginning. There is nothing like having your own home… I would so like [1 v°] the return of the fine days when I would joyfully hug our beloved father! I would so like to sit around the family hearth again, it is there that we taste the purest and sweetest joys. Oh! When will we again be able to see Les Buissonnets which witnessed us grow up? Alas! these sorely missed days already seem long gone, and the more I go on, the more I see a future that is dark. Every day my hope diminishes, falling grain by grain like a rose losing its petals. Oh! If only we could have come back with the swallows!

My darling little Jeanne, Papa is no better and yet it cannot be said that he is [2 r°] entirely ill. We haven’t seen him since last Saturday, I believe we’ll be able to speak to him tomorrow, so I will be able to judge for myself. He doesn’t talk nonsense continually, the nuns don’t notice it, it happens only with the guardians and only then at times. There hasn’t been any marked attack like at our house and I believe there will never be one. It’s just a continual state but without violent periods. At times he resigns himself to doing what people want of him, saying he feels acute sorrow at not being able to leave. This turn for the worse that we have been noticing these last few days stems, I think, from the medicine he’s not taking anymore. Dr. Bourienne recommended [2 v°] waiting longer to see what effect going without the syrup can have. The Sisters say that what they gave him calmed him a great deal.

My dear little Jeanne, oh, how distressed Papa is! At this critical moment of his trial he is in such need of prayers and double amounts of affection. And we give him all of this with all our hearts!...

Darling Jeanne, I don’t think I will come on Thursday, I find that having thought about it it’s wiser to wait longer. What would we do in Lisieux? See you, seek comfort? Yes, it is always a pleasure being with you but we must be able to go without. Ah! If we gave in to all our heart’s demands, we would be required to do nothing but serve it. The more we give it, the more it asks for. Let us loyally observe Lent with generosity, let us be like soldiers on a battlefield, let us not leave our post.

See you soon my Jeannette, you know, we shall only really be reunited in heaven…

Give a big kiss to my dear uncle, dear Aunt and to the little Marie of my heart.


Mr. Guéret should remove the pot that is over the rhubarb on the lawn, which would prevent it from growing…………..

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