From Mme Martin to her brother Isidore CF 13 - April 23, 1865

From Mme Martin to her brother

April 23, 1865

Hastily, I’m writing you a few words, because I’m unable to write you a long letter. I have a violent headache and I’m up against constant aggravation. Moreover, we have my father-in-law (on this photo with his wife, Captain Pierre-François Martin, Louis’ father, was eighty-eight years old ) who is near death; I don’t think he’ll live another two weeks. He’s dying of old age; already half his body is paralyzed.

We received your letter. I don’t remember at all what it contained. I know that you succeeded in your exams, that you received the money we sent you, that our uncle and aunt are doing well and that my father must go to Paris, which he won’t do. Last week his leg was swollen, and he couldn’t go out for several days. He’s doing better now, but his leg is still stiff. I’m in constant fear that he’ll have an attack of paralysis. He saw the doctor who told him to put himself on a light diet, which he has no desire to do because he has a good appetite. His nephew, G. Guérin’s son, stayed at his house for a few days. He’s a little “tripotot,” who rather looks more like a cleaning woman than a student.

Little Léonie is doing well now, as well as the other three. Two weeks ago I went to see Hélène, the one who is with the wet nurse. I can’t remember ever having felt such an intense feeling of happiness as at the moment when I took her in my arms and she smiled at me so graciously. I believed I was looking at an angel. Oh well, I can’t express it. I believe we’ve never seen, nor will ever see, a little girl so charming. My little Hélène, when will I have the happiness of possessing her completely? I can’t imagine that I have the honor of being the mother of such a delightful creature! ... Oh! I admit I don’t regret being married. If you had seen the two older ones today, how pretty they looked, everyone was admiring them and could not take their eyes off of them. And me, I was there beaming. I said to myself, “They’re mine! I have two others who are not here, one beautiful and one less beautiful that I love as much as the others, but she won’t honor me as much.”

Let’s speak of more serious things. You know that when I was a young girl, I hit my breast on the corner of a table. We didn’t think anything of it then, but today I have a gland in my breast that worries me, especially since it started to be a little painful. However, when I touch it, it doesn’t hurt, although I feel some numbness several times a day, every day. Well, I don’t know what else to say about it, but what’s certain is that it’s making me suffer.

What can I do about it? I’m quite confused. I’m not afraid of an operation, no, I’m completely willing to have it, but I don’t have complete confidence in the doctors here. I would like to take advantage of your stay in Paris, because you could help me a lot in this situation. There’s only one thing that holds me back, how will my husband manage during this time? I know nothing about the surgery. Be kind enough to tell me your thoughts on this subject as soon as possible.

Louis sends you his kindest regards, and, since you don’t want to pursue your studies for a doctorate, he would like you to have a pharmacy like that of Monsieur R, (Vital Romet) and that very one if it were possible.

There’s nothing else new to tell you, but this is already enough; I, who was only going to write you a few lines.

© Society of St. Paul / Alba House

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