Happy moments and tenderness God was pleased all through my life to surround me with love, and the first memories I have are stamped with smiles and the most tender caresses. But although he placed so much love near me, he also sent much love into my little heart, making it warm and affectionate. I loved Mama and Papa very much and showed my tenderness for them in a thousand ways, for I was very expressive. “The little one has just placed her hand on my face and kissed me. This poor little thing doesn’t want to leave me; she’s continually at my side. She likes going into the garden, but when I’m not there she won’t stay but cries till they bring her to me.... And from another letter: “Little Thérèse asked me the other day if she would go to Heaven. I told her ‘Yes’ if she were good. She answered: ‘Yes, but if I’m not good, I’ll go to hell. But I know what I will do. I will fly to you in Heaven, and what will God be able to do to take me away? You will be holding me so tightly in your arms!’ I could see in her eyes that she was really convinced that God could do nothing to her if she were in her mother’s arms.” Here, Thérèse quotes a letter from her mother Zélie to her sisters Pauline and Marie, on June 25, 1874, which ends thus: “I am very happy to see that she has so much affection for me, but it is sometimes embarrassing!” 14 Manuscript A Maurice Denis, Child on the Doorstep