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TO SISTER PENELOPE: On the consequences of Mrs. Moore going into a nursing home; and on cheerful insecurity rather than worry.
30 December 1950
Yours was a cheering letter which warmed my heart (I wish it would have warmed my fingers too: as it is they will hardly form the letters!). . . .
Our state is thus: my ‘mother’ has had to retire permanently into a Nursing Home. She is in no pain but her mind has almost completely gone. What traces of it remain seem gentler and more placid than I have known it for years. Her appetite is, oddly, enormous. I visit her, normally, every day, and am divided between a (rational?) feeling that this process of gradual withdrawal is merciful and even beautiful, and a quite different feeling (it comes out in my dreams) of horror.
There is no denying—and I don’t know why I should deny to you—that our domestic life is both more physically comfortable and more psychologically harmonious for her absence. The expense is of course very severe and I have worries about that. But it would be very dangerous to have no worries—or rather no occasions of worry. I have been feeling that very much lately: that cheerful insecurity is what Our Lord asks of us. Thus one comes, late and surprised, to the simplest and earliest Christian lessons!
. . . I am glad to hear your inner news. Mine, too, is I think (but who am I to judge?) fairly good. Oremus pro invicem [Let us pray for each other].
• From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis
• Compiled in Yours, Jack