Umber (25.3 — Kate’s Letter)

May 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

I think maybe we left Vera alone too much after Mama died.  We were all so distracted by our own suffering that we never really took into account how much it hurt her to lose her mother at such a young age.  She seemed to cope with her loneliness by spinning elaborate stories for Ervin, and by drawing fanciful maps and pictures of a world she wanted to live in.  She hid the maps in her dresser drawer.  I used to sneak a look at them now and then when she was busy with Ervin, and I marveled at her imagination.  She studied French in school because she dreamed of moving to Picardy, to see where Mama’s family had lived.  I dismissed all this as childish nonsense that she would outgrow, but her dreams seem to have deeper roots than I realized.  Now Vera devours books that she borrows from Fr. Hoolihan about the lives of the sweet and gentle saints and the “miracles” they were supposed to have performed, because it all reminds her of Mama and the stories she used to tell us when we were little.  If this makes you think less of Mama, I am sorry, but, since Vera is currently tongue-tied, I think Mama would want me to speak up on Vera’s behalf.

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