the Carmel
From Mrs. Martin to her brother Isidore Guérin CF 20 – 23 December 1866.

GUERIN Zélie, Mrs. Louis Martin
GUERIN Isidore


Letter from Mrs. Martin to her brother Isidore CF 20
December 23, 1866.
My father is content and happy to see that he is loved and wanted in your house, so he hastens to pack his trunk to leave on Wednesday by the eight o'clock train. He will arrive in Lisieux at noon, in the company... of a goose "recommended and fattened" just for you!
Here is the advice I beg you to give to my father: first, you will tell him that it is urgent that his house be posted, he does not want it, because it is rented to an officer, but this it can go from one day to another. Then suggest to him not to take on a servant and to come and live with us, for you cannot believe all the trouble I am having in finding reliable and devoted people for him. My husband lends himself to this combination. You wouldn't meet one in a hundred who was as good as him for a father-in-law.
As you know, our father is excellent, but now he has certain little old man's quirks; her children have to support them and I am completely determined to do so. If you lived here, he would go and stay with you, because he loves you better than me, but he won't change countries, so he must stay with us until the end of his days; again, advise him that.
You must have a lot of trouble having so many people at your service, I pity you deeply; do the same on your side, pity me too I have a lot of trouble with this cursed Point d'Alençon which puts the crowning touch to all my ills; I earn a little money, it's true, but, my God, how expensive it is! good God does not protect me in any particular way, it seems to me that I will not live long. I would easily console myself if I had no children to raise, I would greet death with joy, "as one greets the sweet and pure dawn of a fine day." »
I often think of my holy sister, of her calm and quiet life; she works, she, not to earn perishable wealth, she only accumulates for Heaven, towards which all her sighs go. And me, I see myself there, bent towards the earth, giving myself extreme pain to amass gold that I won't take away and that I don't want to take away. What would I do with it up there!
Sometimes I find myself regretting not having done like her, but right away I say to myself: "I wouldn't have my four little girls, my charming little Joseph... No, it's even better that I be toiling where I am, and let them be there. Provided that I arrive in Paradise with my dear Louis and that I see them all much better placed there than me, I will be happy enough like that, I do not ask for more. »
Please, my dear friend, don't read this letter to your wife, she would find me whimsical, for I see that I have let myself go to all my thoughts; but that's how I write to my sister, I don't shy away from her, and I'm not afraid to tell her everything that comes into my mind. And yet your little wife is so good that, I'm quite sure, she would excuse me.
You will tell her that I love her with all my heart, that I look forward to the day when I can see her again, that I wish her a quieter life than mine and, for next year, a pretty baby boy which brings joy to you both, that you live a long time together on earth and that you are reunited in Heaven never to leave each other again.
I end by offering you my wishes for a very prosperous year and by embracing you with affection.

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