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Quote #10

A lifetime of war had finally taken its toll on Abe. He'd felt increasingly weak since Willie's death. Clouded and unsure. The lines in his face were deeper, and the skin beneath his eyes sagged so as to make him appear forever exhausted. Mary was nearly always depressed, and her rare moments of levity were spent on frenzied fits of decorating and redecorating, or on séances to "commune" with her beloved Eddy and Willie. She and Abe hardly spoke beyond simple civilities. (13.5)

Depression doesn't just hurt individuals, it can also damage relationships and marriages. And just as there were no grief counselors in the 1860s, there was no couples' therapy, either. So Abe is given some sense of duty and destiny by his sad losses, but that doesn't make them happy losses—they're still terrible things with unexpected and terrible consequences, like a weird, New-Agey wife.

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