There was a sweet human-interest story in yesterday's paper about a woman in Philadelphia who at age 50 has her first boyfriend. She is a woman with certain disabilities and has lived with her parents all her life. Her parents were reported to be "shocked" by the romantic development. "_____, a short, relentlessly scrappy South Philly homemaker, had hovered over her disabled daughter from birth. Even now, at 78, she spent much of the day with _____, invest[ing] her life in trying to protect her only child from every conceivable hazard and heartbreak."
I'm not saying there is necessarily something wrong here, but I was reminded of Mrs. Fidget from C.S. Lewis' The Four Loves:
"Mrs. Fidget very often said that she lived for her family. And it was not untrue. Everyone in the neighborhood knew it. 'She lives for her family,' they said; 'what a wife and mother!' She did all the washing; true, she did it badly, and they could have afforded to send it out to a laundry, and they frequently begged her not to do it. But she did. There was always a hot lunch for anyone who was at home and always a hot meal at night (even in midsummer). They implored her not to provide this. They protested almost with tears in their eyes that they liked cold meals. It made no difference. She was living for her family. . . .
"For Mrs. Fidget, as she so often said, would 'work her fingers to the bone' for her family. They couldn't stop her. Nor could they---being decent people---quite sit still and watch her do it. They had to help. Indeed they were always having to help. . . .
"The Vicar says Mrs. Fidget is now at rest. Let us hope she is. What's quite certain is that her family are."
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