From Mme Martin to Mr and Mme Guérin CF 43 - January 1869.

From Mme Martin to Mr and Mme Guérin

January 1869

I went to Le Mans (on December 31) to pick up the children. I found my sister (SrMarie-Dosithée) in a pitiful state. She had such a hard time breathing that she was barely able to talk to me. She always gets bronchitis, one attack after another, and that will end up taking her to her grave. I see this with the greatest pain. In losing her, I’ll lose everything. She is so dear to me and so helpful to my children. My heart is broken thinking about it. When she’s no longer there and I have to return to the Visitation Monastery, I won’t have the courage.

She got up to receive me. She had a vesicant on her chest and could only speak to me in a whisper, so I left at two o’clock instead of three to let her rest. This may be the last time I’ll see her. However, she’s not dying. All last winter she was like this, and she recovered in August.

I found the little girls (Marie and Pauline are enrolled in the boarding school at the Visitation) very good and very strong, especially Marie, who has become even prettier. She’s made a great deal of progress, as has Pauline. They’re delighted by Pauline’s charming nature, and everyone loves her, but she has an extraordinary liveliness that prevented her, for nearly six weeks, from receiving the award called the “Rosette” and being the “Child of Jesus” at Christmas.

Marie doesn’t have such a happy nature, but she tries. Her aunt and her teachers are very satisfied with her. Yesterday, my sister told me that Marie had to have several large bad teeth pulled, and she pledged to suffer without saying anything, offering it up for the repose of the soul of her grandpapa. At eight o’clock this morning I took her to the dentist. She asked me if this was truly going to relieve the pain of “her poor grandpa.” After I answered yes, she didn’t whisper a word, so that the dentist told me he’d never seen such a determined child.

However, he didn’t want to extract the bad baby teeth, which never made her suffer anyway, and he explained the reason to me. Well! She said to me as we were leaving, “It’s too bad, poor grandpa wouldn’t be in Purgatory anymore.”

On arriving home with the little girls, we opened the box containing the toys. All four of them were around the table, filled with joy. Marie and Pauline were delighted. There was more than enough to make the two little ones happy. I thank you a thousand times, although I’m annoyed that you always spend far too much.

I, as well as my husband, wish you all the happiness you desire in this world. A thousand kisses to little Jeanne, whom I think of so often. I talked about her a lot with my sister, and she said to me, “I hope to see her next year.” She seemed to want that very much.

Your letters are too short; you don’t tell me if your business is going well and a great many other things that interest me.


 © Society of St. Paul / Alba House

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