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Author of AGAINST A DARKENING SKY, THE EMPTY ROOM, OUR DAILY BREAD, and others. Find out more at www.LaurenBDavis.com. I read as if my sanity depended upon it.. . . oh, wait, it does! Snort.

The Solace Of "Ousia" (And Of Reading)

The Summer of the Great-Grandmother - Madeleine L'Engle

Every morning I spend a little time reading before I begin the real work of the day, which is writing. I choose the books I read in this time slot for inspirational value, either spiritual or psychological or artistic. This morning I finished The Summer of the Great-Grandmother, by Madeleine L’Engle, which is the second of the “Crosswicks Journal” series, was chosen for a mixture of the three, and it does not disappoint.


 L’Engle is best known for her marvelous children’s books (A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, etc.), but these memoirs are beautifully written and thought-provoking.  Here, she writes about the summer during which her mother did the hard work (for all concerned) of dying, at the family vacation home of Crosswicks, a Connecticut farmhouse.


Because my own mother, 92 years old at the time of this writing, is involved in her own such struggle and has been for the past two years, I read this with much interest, looking for guidance on how to cope with my own conflicted feelings.  While I perhaps did not exactly find guidance in a practical sense – my mother is in a nursing home in another country, while L’Engle was able to provide round-the-clock care for her mother in a family setting – I did find I was not alone in the feelings I have, of (to name a few) despair, shame, frustration, grief, resentment and pity. . .


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