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Letters to the Editor

I just read the Winter 2009 NewsSmith article about paths to happiness and wanted to [mention something that readers] may find interesting.

My husband, a 56–year–old Taoist, had a stroke in early September. I was amazed at his reaction to becoming suddenly incapacitated and disabled. At first he could not swallow, saw double or triple, half of his vocal chords had become paralyzed, and he lost his sense of balance and couldn't walk (Wallenberg's syndrome).

He accepted what had happened and just kept on going. Never complained at all, just laid there patiently waiting to get better. Even when we had a category 3 hurricane and he couldn't move to help me, he did not complain. He looked at the bright side and maintained his positive attitude with every little improvement.

Today, five months later, he is back to work part time and getting better every day. His doctors are amazed at his progress and expect a full recovery. I do attribute this in large part to his Taoist attitude of acceptance and positivity.

Life is fun!

Jennifer O'Neill, '80
St. Croix, Virgin Islands

My parents met at HMS (class of 1973) and I graduated from Smith in 2003, so I have access to alumni publications from both institutions. I read both the new Newssmith and the March–April Harvard Magazine in the last twenty–four hours, so it was impossible to miss the fact that both featured pieces by undergraduate women about doing archival research on Sylvia Plath. Remarkable!

Brita Zitin '03

In the Spring 2008 issue of NewsSmith I was most interested in an article about "the good American ladies of Grécourt." My great aunt, Eoline Church Dubois, was a doctor, and she volunteered her services in much the same way as the ladies featured in this article. Although Eoline graduated from Vassar, her lifelong friend was Elizabeth Sherwood, Smith class of 1911.

Eoline Dubois and Elizabeth Sherwood went to France together to aid the French refugees in 1918, as did the Grécourt ladies. My aunt wrote a poignant recollection of their experiences upon the death of her friend, Elizabeth Sherwood, in 1974. I remember reading the article and for the first time realizing how much that war left its mark on her generation. This seems to be the message of your article as well.

Mabel (Dubois) Ellis '66
Dover, Massachusetts

Just a belated thank–you for the wonderful Fall (2009) issue. I can't express how proud I was to be an alumna after reading about all the great things going on at campus. As my own daughter and many nieces are in high school, I can't wait to share it with them before they start their own college searches.

Keep up the good work!

Carla Cataldo '84
Principal, Proposals Etc.
Medway, Massachusetts

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