“I put my hand on Lucy’s back and felt her uneven breaths, the tremor of her shoulder blades. I was stunned by the rawness of her pain. I came to understand that night in the sports bar, safe from the blinding rain, that I could not worry about Lucy anymore. I knew then it was just too enormous for me to manage and that worrying about her would swamp me. If I was swamped by worry, I would be useless to her. It was even possible that I would desert her, and that was the thing that could never happen. I decided that night I would take all the hours of my life that could so easily be spent worrying and instead I would try to help her. I had been raised by Catholic nuns who told us in no uncertain terms that work was the path to God, and that while it was a fine thing to feel loyalty and devotion in your heart, it would be much better for everyone involved if you could find the physical manifestations of your good thoughts and see them put into action…I decided then that my love for Lucy would have to manifest in deeds.” –Ann Patchett
This quotation comes from Patchett’s memoir, Truth and Beauty, about her friendship with Lucy Grealy. Grealy had a serious facial disfigurement, which she wrote about in Autobiography of a Face. The photograph is a picture of the two of them.
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