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From Mme Martin to her brother Isidore CF 97 - May 4, 1873.

 

From Mme Martin to her brother

May 4, 1873

I don’t know how to find the time to write you because, like you, I’m in a great dilemma. There’s only me to take care of Marie day and night, and yet I have many other things to do. I’m up and down the stairs constantly. You’re going to say to me, “Get help,” but Marie doesn’t want anyone else to touch her but me. Last Thursday I had to stay at my desk to receive the workers, and I had to leave all of them to go to her. The maid came to say to me, “Mademoiselle Marie wants it to be ‘Mama.’”

When all is said and done, she’s not doing better. We’re devastated. She’s wasting away before our very eyes, and if this continues any longer, I fear another illness will come along and steal her from us.

Monsieur Vital and Mademoiselle Pauline just left this minute. They hadn’t seen her for a week. They seemed worried and found her sicker than last week. And yet her condition is still more or less the same. The fever hasn’t gone up or down, but the longer it lasts, the weaker she gets.

I don’t know when this illness will end, and if it continues, I believe that it will be my turn to get sick, from fatigue and sorrow. Tomorrow, Monday, Louis leaves on a pilgrimage on foot while fasting, some leagues from Alençon, where they honor a saintly man who cures fevers (in her next letter, Zélie puts this pilgrimage at La Butte Chaumont). Let’s hope….

 © Society of St. Paul / Alba House