Withering in the Autumn

Odwena was put on strict bed-rest after her collapse. The doctor could not find a source of her illness, save but deeming it an infection of her lungs. She was not to overexert herself as the doctor did his best to find treatment.

The childlike belief of the infallible nature of her mother was beginning to fade in Odelynne's heart. She saw her mother, strong and beautiful, begin to fade and wither as she was trapped in her bed. Odwena begged the window be left open, so she could still look out and see the way the grass turned color and how Odelynne stood out in the fields that once bloomed with bright blossoms.

Holdwine could not spend all of his time with his wife, but Odelynne could. She would spend many hours in that room with her mother, telling stories and bringing her paints, or braiding her mother's hair as she wove a tapestry. She did much weaving in her last days. It was not strenuous, and she could remain in bed.

Odelynne always did her best to cheer her up, but Odwena still oft longingly looked out her window with a shuddering sigh. There were some days where the coughing was so bad that she was not allowed inside the room. Some days the doctor was called upon once more, and he never brought with him any better news. No news of healing. Simply news of worsening. Of withering.

"Psyche Opening the Golden Box" John William Waterhouse