It felt so good to sit down with Babu again and share these journals. She read January 1936 and I asked her what jumped out to her. She said she thinks she really liked going to Bay Path College. That put a smile on my face. I shared with her that I loved reading about the drama program she was involved in.
We reread parts where she described the weather:
Winter has set in. It snowed all day. During noon it came down in huge feathery flakes, but all afternoon it was half snow and half rain. Now it’s beautiful out. It’s so peaceful. No noise (except the landlord at the furnace downstairs) Shadows are cast here and there and I think the moon is out.
What a gale there is out of doors. And it’s been going on all day and the better part of last night, I think. The drifts are waist deep in some places.
I told her I loved to read her describe the weather and she just said: “Really?” I don’t think she understands how neat her writing is. I want to do something, some project, with her weather descriptions. I love them so much.
We continued reading into February. She finally read about the girl who talks to angels. She had a shocked “Wow,” reaction when reading about it and when I asked her what she though about it, she gave me a surprising answer. “My mother would have been in heaven. She loved that.” I get what Babu was saying and I wonder if it’s possible that Babchi was the real believer. I know she was very serous about her religion, but so is Babu. The thing is, I don’t think Babu really believes. I think for her, her belief is more about the tradition and the good work of the Catholic church, and less of a belief in the Lord, the stories of the bible, or a belief of what will happen once she passes. I can’t wait to read more of these angel passages with her to find out how she feels and thinks about it. At 18, she fully believed. Has she grown out of it and into skepticism? It is difficult to always get her full reactions at first as it takes her a while to find her words or to possibly to even have her own reaction.
We laughed a lot while reading these passages. We laughed at Helen, the “class freak” although I feel bad about how ostracized she is for her sexuality.
Monday, February 3rd, 1936
Saturday morning at the Wayside, Helen W, the freak of the class, behaved abominably. She and a boy (she didn’t come with him) were embracing and kissing passionately in front of everyone. But Mary Hogan said after I went it was worse. She’d better watch out.
I forgot how much of a temperature gauge reading these passages with her could be. She could remember The Wayside Inn and where it was in Springfield, she could remember about her family that lived in Bondsville, she remembered that Jeanette was an only child, she even remembered that BPI meant Bay Path Institute. She couldn’t remember who Maurice was even though she had just read about him and I kept reminding her that he was her blind date for a dance. It didn’t matter. Every time she saw his name she asked who he was. I guess that’s what it means to be 98!