CHAPTER XVII My Mother and Jean

Mother's illness had taken deeper root and she was confined to her bedroom. From her windows she could watch the changing lights reflected from the sky in the wide river and there were beautiful ice and snowstorms that winter. Much of the time she was not permitted to see her husband or Jean, because the doctors felt that complete solitude might relieve the diseased condition of the heart. I was admitted to her presence as assistant nurse. During these many sad weeks Father had to content himself with sending notes into the sick-room, or verbal messages by me. He used to say in his funny little self-accusing way, "I wouldn't go in to see your mother, even if the doctor permitted it, for I would surely give out some startling yarn that would make the hair of a wolf stand on end." Two or three times a day Mother's face would light up eagerly when the nurse approached the bed with a little slip of paper in her hand. These greetings to Mother from her husband were rainbows during the storm, and the colors were never the same:

"Don't know the date nor the day. But anyway, it is a soft and pensive foggy morning, Livy darling, and the naked tree branches are tear-beaded, and Nature has the look of trying to keep from breaking down and sobbing, poor old thing. Good morning, dear heart, I love you dearly.

"Y."

-227-

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