This afternoon I went to visit Pattie. I’ve known all along that it was well with her soul, but I’ve also known that it was unlikely to be well with her body. We are now facing the end, and I am sad to go and find her alone, still wishing for more care and attention from the family she has attended to and cared for since she was an 18-year-old bride. I went carrying a card the Little Princess made in Sunday School, with a pocket to hold flowers. It says, “God gives new life.”
Peripatetic Polar Bear has a beautiful post today about daffodils, among other things, that reminded me of something E.B. White wrote about his wife, Katherine:
Armed with a diagram and a clipboard, Katherine would get into a shabby old brooks raincoat much too long for her, put on a little round wool hat, pull on a pair of overshoes and proceed to the director’s chair – a folding canvas thing – that had been placed for her at the edge of the plot. There she would sit, hour after hour, in the wind and the weather, while Henry Allen produced dozens of brown paper packages of new bulbs and a basketful of old ones, ready for the intricate interment. As the years went by and age overtook her, there was something comical yet touching in her bedraggled appearance on this awesome occasion – the small, hunched-over figure, her studied absorption in the implausible notion that there would be yet another spring, oblivious to the ending of her own days, which she knew perfectly well was near at hand, sitting there with her detailed chart under those dark skies in the dying October, calmly plotting the resurrection.
E. B. White, “Introduction” in K. S. White, Onward and Upward in the Garden