From Mme Martin to Mme Guérin CF 176 - December 7, 1876.

From Mme Martin to Mme Guérin

December 7, 1876

I received your good letter and Pauline’s the same day, which I’m sending you. She’s not very reassuring, and I see that there’s no hope. But I had no great illusions. I never believed our poor sister would pull through unless there was a miracle, which I wasn’t counting on.

You’re already speaking to me of New Year’s gifts! That comes as such a shock…. How quickly the years pass, and how often this month comes! It’s a true nightmare. Oh well, since you want to, send New Year’s gifts to everybody. And what to give? I don’t know.

For Marie, perhaps a sewing box and also one for Pauline. She’d told her sister what she wanted, but Marie can’t remember it anymore!

As for Léonie, she’s constantly saying that she wants a knife that closes. I told her that’s not something she should ask for, but it’s no use. She wants one and a drinking glass.

Céline wants a little copper foot warmer. For Thérèse, you can give her whatever you’d like. As for toys, she has carriages and dolls.

For me, a jar of ointment because the one I have is almost finished. Although, it seems to me that the ointment is hurting me because now it’s red. To tell you the truth, I’m a little worried about it, but I say nothing about it at home. If it’s dangerous, they’ll know it soon enough.

But let’s talk about New Year’s gifts again, and tell me honestly what would please Jeanne. She’s already a big girl, and it’s harder to know what to get her. As for Marie, I’d like to buy her a little set of dishes that I saw. They’re very pretty and not breakable because they’re made of strong papier-mâché decorated like china, and there are many pieces. Let me know as quickly as possible, so I’ll be able to send you all this the Thursday before Christmas, as usual.

I hear Thérèse crying very hard while saying, “I’m so unhappy!” And it’s because Céline is telling her that her dolls are badly brought up and she gives in to their every whim…Pauline writes Marie that her aunt wants me to bring Léonie to Le Mans when I go to pick her up for the New Year’s holidays. I’ll do it to make her happy, but to what purpose? None, unless my sister has the power to perform miracles. Marie will return to accompany Pauline to see her aunt one last time, if she’s still in this world. All this is very sad, but we’ll still have the consolation of knowing she’s in Heaven, and for me, that’s the main thing.

We often see sudden deaths in Alençon. Last week it was Monsieur X, who had very progressive ideas. Monsieur V thinks the town is losing a lot, but as for me, I think they’re losing nothing there.

Good-bye, my dear sister, I don’t think I’ll write you again for another two weeks. I’ll give you reliable news from Le Mans, where I’m going to pick up Pauline the Wednesday before New Year’s Day.

I hug you with all my heart, as well as your children and my brother.

Your devoted sister



© Society of St. Paul / Alba House


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