From Mme Martin to her brother Isidore CF 33 - June 8, 1868.

From Mme Martin to her brother

June 8, 1868

My father is very, very sick. Yesterday, Sunday, I didn’t know what to do. I was determined to write you to tell you to come quickly, but my husband preferred that I wait until today. The doctor came Wednesday and Friday. Every time my poor father wants to sleep, he starts gasping for air, and at night we have to open the windows. Last night, he suffered as he never had before and couldn’t lie down on his bed; we had to sit him up in his armchair. What’s more, he’s suffering very much from a bedsore, but the weakness still continues. Yesterday he told me that he was finished, that he was going to die.

Don’t worry, I’m constantly at his side; in other words, I never leave him. I’m the one who dresses his wound twice a day. I give him all that I think is best for him, but he has no appetite, and when it’s necessary to make him take something, it’s truly torture for him and for me. He can neither move himself nor sit up in his bed. My husband has to come help us, and if this continues, we’ll need two men to lift him. We feel so deeply sorry for my poor dear father; he endures all with a great deal of patience.

I’ve had enough problems. All of a sudden business has woken up. I received some urgent orders, very urgent. If I don’t fill these orders, I’ll lose a lot. I’d like to fill them all, and I don’t know how to do it. Only a moment ago, I received a letter with an order I have to deliver on the 18th. I don’t know which way to turn anymore. I’m up from four-thirty in the morning until eleven o’clock at night. All my time should be for my father, and I shouldn’t have anything else on my mind.

Our dear patient speaks about you to everyone; your ears must be burning. All his discussions with Doctor Prévost revolve around you.

I worry whether or not I should ask a priest to come right away; this torments me. The doctor told me the illness is not serious, that he sees nothing worrisome apart from his 79 years. But I find it hard to convince myself of that and everybody would think the opposite, that it wouldn’t be difficult for me to believe the doctor.


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