May 10, 1852


Monday May 10th  Do not feel very well to day.  Slept in

the light bedroom so as to assist Sarah in taking

care of George.  He knows everyone but otherwise 

is not conscious and since noon does not notice

all all.  The Dr has given up all hopes of him

I planted most of my flower seeds this

afternoon felt sorry to do so but it is getting late

The women in the Ames compound were becoming exhausted with tending to two very sick young people, George Oliver Witherell and Helen Angier Ames.  It was George, however, who had entered a dangerous phase. He had been suffering from rheumatic fever for many days and was now unconscious. His doctor had finally “given up all hopes of him.” How terrified the family must have been; no doubt prayers were being lifted in the hope that George might yet recover.

Evelina broke away from her nephew’s bedside to work in her garden. She “felt sorry to do so,” but the seeds needed to be planted. To wait too long would be to lose the best timing for the flowers. She might have felt relieved to kneel down in the soil and push little seeds into place, each seed a hopeful gesture in the face of helplessness.


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