Friday, June 08, 2007

You Became Part of Home

My dear Nurse Davison*
Excuse me. I cannot address you by any other name. Remember you? I should think I do. Do you remember the night Warnie and I came home very late and got into trouble and were sent to bed without supper, and you brought us in bread and jam in our little room--opposite my father's bedroom? Do you remember the night you went to the Mikado with Warnie and I wasn't allowed to go? Do you remember the first night before my poor mother's operation when you both sat and talked about operations and I said 'Well you are gloomy people.' And now it has all happened again with my father. I thought of you a lot during his illness and wished you could have been with him. He constantly mentioned you and your photo has been on the mantel piece at Little Lea for a great many years.

Thank you for your sympathy. I thought I had perhaps got a bit used to people I cared for dying while I was at the front, but it doesn't seem to make much difference. He was such a very strong personality and had been the background of my life for so long that I can hardly believe its all over. One keeps on thinking 'I must tell him that' when some little episode happens, and then [one] remembers. I suppose we get used to these changes in time. Thanks awfully for writing. It is really comforting to be taken back to those old days. The time during which you were with my mother--and I remember that much better than my own little operation--seemed very long to a child and you became part of home. We must try to meet when I'm in Ireland again. Probably we have often passed each other in the street without knowing.
Yours very sincerely
Jack Lewis
~C.S. Lewis, letter to A. M. Davison, Sept. 29, 1929, The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis: Volume III (2007)

*A. M. Davison was the senior of the two nurses in charge of Lewis's mother, Flora, during her final illness. Flora died on August 23, 1908.