Tuesday, February 26, 2008

a vigil

For some reason I do not myself understand, I stayed up into the wee small hours of the morning finishing Rilla of Ingleside. This being chronologically the last of the Anne books, and myself having set out to read all of them last month. And up to this, they had all been cheerful little things. Perhaps not terribly important, but then again perhaps more important than you'd give them credit for. Easy to read, and only once in 7 books did I shed a tear.

So I was totally unprepared for this last one.

Suddenly WWI was armageddon, and babies were dying and lives shattered and such. I couldn't get the more disturbing parts of A Very Long Engagement out of my head, and my soul ached.

You don't hear much about the first World War, because the second kind of overpowered it with the clarity of the morals in opposition. But the first one was so much more repugnant for a soldier, not that any war isn't..... but the whole years of trench warfare and the mustard gas and the bayonnets just freezes your heart until it nearly stops beating.

And as a mother, reading about a mother who is mourning her losses and remember her lost boys as babies.... I lose it. I think how could a mother possibly stand to raise her children if she thought they might become casualties of war, instead of growing up to live righteous, if unremarkable lives.

The book had a strong patriotic flavor. Honor and pride were made less lofty by the necessity of them. And someone tenderly remarked that "what we must do, we can do..." and I loved how it was put and yet hated to think of it wearing out the world of Anne.

Then Oliver had a night terror and I went and held him and cried so hard I made myself sick.

8 comments:

Chell said...

{{{HUGS}}} to you. It is nice when a book can touch you but no fun to have those feelings. Glad you were able to hold your baby and cry a little. I am sure that helped.

aLi said...

Hooray for good healthy cries where we remember what's most important. It's like a nice warm bath for the soul.
You've sparked my interest in reading again. I lost any interest in any books after my love affair with the Twilight series. I'm looking forward to a good read that captures my heart.

glittersmama said...

I hate the thought of the horrible things that my baby will come across in her life. I hate that I can't hold her and keep her safe in my arms forever. I'm just grateful that I can do it for now.

I can't imagine how those moms do it.

hairyshoefairy said...

I never made it the Rilla but i think I'm going to have to now. Thanks for the warning, though. I wouldn't have expected that either. Like GM, I wish I could hold my little one and keep her safe forever. Thanks for sharing this.

somestratt said...

Isn't it great when something can make us look at our children and make us want to grasp onto them and never let go...instead of the rest of the time when we feel like we are just trying to keep it all together. Maybe I should borrow those books from you!

Shakespear Family said...

Sounds like a wonderful book!

Leith said...

Isn't a good cry so cathartic? Even if you started crying about one thing, suddenly it seems appropriate to cry about everything that ever hurt anybody in the whole world. And then, once you're spent, you can start fresh and build hope in the future and the world.

Carolanne said...

I've heard it said that L.M. Montgomery had a hard time bringing Anne into adulthood. Maybe that is because we have to work harder to find the joy that comes so easily as children, especially faced with the hard reality of what our world is becoming. Sad.

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