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Beth could not reason upon or explain the faith that gave her courage and patience to give up life, and cheerfully wait for... Options
Daemon
Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 12:00:00 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/7/2009
Posts: 32,121
Neurons: 95,541
Location: Inside Farlex computers
Beth could not reason upon or explain the faith that gave her courage and patience to give up life, and cheerfully wait for death...She could not say, "I'm glad to go," for life was very sweet for her. She could only sob out, "I try to be willing."

Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888)
jcbarros
Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 11:29:06 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/14/2010
Posts: 2,363
Neurons: 9,377
It seems somehow confused: "cheerfully wait for death"...and "She could not say I´m glad to go"
What her actual feelings were?
Kanga85
Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 10:02:48 PM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 4/23/2009
Posts: 32
Neurons: 96
Location: Australia
Poor Beth! The way Alcott writes, you cannot help but feel sorry for her character Beth.
gradyone
Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 2:59:34 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/12/2010
Posts: 2,420
Neurons: 12,277
Location: Virgil, Illinois, United States

I thought about this quote several times today. It made me remember the circumstances of my mother's life as she neared death.
She suffered from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma soon after turning 70, then went through a rough period of chemo and radiation
treatments that beat back the cancer yet left her susceptible to many types of infection. She lived to be 83,
but in the years after the lymphoma was sent into remission, her life revolved around doctors' visits, hospital stays
and taking her meds. My dad cared for her at home, but he had lost the woman he married, and my siblings & I had lost
the mother who reared us, some seven years before she died. The wife he took care of and the mother we visited bore
little resemblance to the energetic, fun-loving, teasing, nurturing, vital person she was before cancer and subsequent
afflictions reduced her to a frail, whiny, sleepy, unsteady wisp of a woman.

Her final three months were spent in a nursing home. The lymphoma had returned, aggressively undoing her body's ability
to make red blood cells, platelets and the enzymes that are involved in delivering and transferring food and oxygen
throughout the body. At first she was very unhappy about being moved into the nursing home and she pleaded with all of us
to let her go home again. That emotional tug of war lasted about a month, ending with these words from her:
"I'm going to try to get used to this place."

She was going to, in Alcott's Beth's words, "try to be willing." During my mother's final week her vital organs began to shut down
and she slipped into unconsciousness. She continued to breath without mechanical assistance during that time, until late on a
summer night she took an even, deeper breath and died.

As she had done hundreds of times, my mother showed us how to live with vitality and a quirky grace, right down to her last breath.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Loreena McKennitt - Dante's Prayer

Marissa La Faye Isolde
Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 10:23:57 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/10/2009
Posts: 1,647
Neurons: 4,678
To gradyone: Thank you for the passage you have written about your mother's illness and her eventual death. I always come to the forum hoping to find something uplifting, or something that makes me smile--or something that-- opens my mind and releases me to a greater something. Often times I am disturbed and saddened by what I find and wonder at what a poster's life is all about. But most of the time, I am grateful for people like you, who wish to leave a mark on the life, or the psyche, of others that illuminates their life.
gradyone
Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2012 12:42:12 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/12/2010
Posts: 2,420
Neurons: 12,277
Location: Virgil, Illinois, United States

I'm glad you enjoyed my post, Marissa. Thanks for your kind words.

The threads in FreeDELFia necessarily run the gamut from questionable intent
to inspired communication. I find it rewarding to contribute, while the iron is hot,
to threads and posts that inspire me. When inspiration takes a holiday, I say nothing.

Over the past four years, many interesting individuals left their indelible marks
in the forums and on us as members, and I'm sure on guests whom we never hear from.
As long as we continue to develop the camaraderie that accompanies intellectual wonder
and emotional honesty, our time here will be well spent.
Marissa La Faye Isolde
Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 9:05:09 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/10/2009
Posts: 1,647
Neurons: 4,678
Thank you Grady for your insightful remarks. I especially like this part of your reply:

"As long as we continue to develop the camaraderie that accompanies intellectual wonder and emotional honesty, our time here will be well spent."

I would like to say, as well, that, it isn't that we 'freedelfians' can never be light and silly--or witty and playful, or have 'ho-hum' every day communications, or even have an out-of-sorts cranky day that we over-look in each other from time to time, or that our every moment must be laden with serious and weighty thoughts, but that there exists a feeling of respect and good will amongst us, with the freedom to express what it is we wish to say.
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