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Heartwarming / Dear America

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     A Journey to the New World: The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple, Mayflower, 1620 
  • Near the end of the book, Mem becomes very sick. Her stepmother Hannah is tending to her. Up to then, Mem had not known what to call Hannah because she was afraid to dishonor her mother. Here though, she blurts out Hannah's first name. This cements their relationship.

     Standing in the Light: The Diary of Catharine Carey Logan, Delaware Valley, Pennsylvania, 1763 
  • When they're taken captive, Caty and her brother are initially separated, but she's eventually allowed to see him again. Recognizing how much the siblings mean to each other, the Lenape allow them to remain together, even though it's not their normal way of doing things.
  • Caty's developing relationship with her Lenape family. She starts off (understandably) resenting them, but they treat her so much like family that she comes to care for them. Unlike her brother and Snow Hunter, she doesn't forget her English roots, but she comes to realize that she can love the Lenape while still loving her family of origin too.
  • Caty and Thomas being reunited with their father. Despite the trauma and loss that precipitates this reunion, they are genuinely happy to see him after so long, and he is of course overjoyed to have them back.

     Look to the Hills: The Diary of Lozette Moreau, a French Slave Girl, New York Colony, 1763 

     Love Thy Neighbor: The Tory Diary of Prudence Emerson, Green Marsh, Massachusetts, 1774 

     The Winter of Red Snow: The Revolutionary War Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, 1777 
  • When the Continental Army marches through the town, Abigail is horrified to see that many of the men are in rags, despite the freezing weather. She immediately rushes to the nearest soldier and gives him her cloak, despite that her family only has a couple of cloaks. Her father also gives a boy playing the fife his scarf, too. And they’re not the only ones: Abigail sees the winter garments of some of her neighbors among the soldiers.

     Cannons at Dawn: The Second Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, 1779 
  • Abby and Willie reuniting and celebrating the end of the war. Especially when he sees that she is pregnant.

     I Walk in Dread: The Diary of Deliverance Trembley, Witness to the Salem Witch Trials, Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1691 


     A Line in the Sand: The Alamo Diary of Lucinda Lawrence, Gonzales, Texas, 1836 
  • The scene where the family runs into Davy Crockett and his Tennessee Boys, the crew being on their way to San Antonio and willing to help the Lawrence Family fix their wagon axle and escort them to their relatives in San Antonio. When Mrs. Lawrence, who is dealing with her eldest son fighting in the Alamo and having lost a baby daughter with a brother as a soldier, Davy tells her that he finds Texan wives and mothers to possess a special bravery not seen elsewhere and that they give the men motivation to fight.
  • Lucinda and her mother exchanging gifts on Christmas morning is extremely sweet: Lucinda receives an rose shaped ivory button. It had once been on her mother’s wedding dress, but all of the others had been sold in various emergencies. Touched but embarrassed, she gives her mother her gift: hollyhock seeds. Her mother is brought to tears of joy:
    Mrs Lawrence: “Why Lucinda, how did you know that hollyhocks are my most favorite flower in the world? I can hardly wait for spring. My garden will be the envy of all Gonzales.”

     Valley of the Moon: The Diary Of Maria Rosalia de Milagros, Sonoma Valley, Alta California, 1846 
  • Rosalina's employee/master takes her aside specifically to say he approves of her Lenten sacrifice.
  • Later on, it is discovered that Rosa and her brother Domingo are related to their employer, and he adopts them.
  • Rafaela, one of Rosalia's employers' daughters, is a frail and sickly young woman. One night, Rosa discovers her crying because of this, figuring her ill health means she will never be courted or marry. Rosalia kindly suggests a few things that will help Rafaela, such as getting more fresh air and eating more. It works, and the two girls become closer despite age and class differences.

     Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie: The Diary of Hattie Campbell, The Oregon Trail, 1847 

  • Near the end of the journey to Oregon, Hattie is good and tired of feeling dirty, exhausted, and ugly. So she puts on her best dress and tries to coil her hair on her head like Ma (the best she can do is a long braid). She expects Ma to be upset that she's wearing her best clothes on the trail. Instead, Ma simply touches Hattie's cheek and quietly comments on how pretty she looks.

     So Far from Home: The Diary of Mary Driscoll, an Irish Mill Girl, Lowell, Massachusetts, 1847 

     All the Stars in the Sky: The Santa Fe Trail Diary of Florrie Mack Ryder, The Santa Fe Trail, 1848 


     Seeds of Hope: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild, California Territory, 1849 

     A Picture of Freedom: The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl, Belmont Plantation, Virginia, 1859 

  • When Mr. Harms is accused of helping slaves escape the plantation and is about to be arrested, Clotee plans to rescue him by causing enough doubt in the Henleys' minds by making them think that he was really having an affair with Spicy, another slave girl, and that the slave who accused Mr. Harms was just jealous. She'd given this story to the overseer before note , and he mentions as much, unwittingly supporting their plan, but it's not quite enough. Then, surprisingly, the Henleys' son backs them up with a flat-out lie, despite not being in on the plan. He was so grateful to Mr. Harms for teaching him and helping him recover from falling off his horse that he decided to lie to save him. The epilogue shows that William became an abolitionist himself, and credited his views to Mr. Harms' teachings.
  • In the epilogue, we learn that Spicy escaped to freedom, eventually marred Hince, and changed her name to Rose (the name her mother had wanted to give her but hadn't been allowed to).

     A Light in the Storm: The Civil War Diary of Amelia Martin, Fenwick Island, Delaware, 1861 

     The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow: The Diary of Sarah Nita, a Navajo Girl, New Mexico, 1864 

     When Will This Cruel War Be Over?: The Civil War Diary of Emma Simpson, Gordonsville, Virginia, 1864 

  • Tally survives the war, much to Emma’s joy. They go on to marry and have two children.

     I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly: The Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl, Mars Bluff, South Carolina, 1865 

  • Patsy dreams for the first half of the book of finding her family. When she learns the story of how she arrived at the plantation (alone in the arms of a stranger), she resigns herself to the fact that it will never happen. The epilogue, however, reveals that she got her wish in another way, becoming part of a Family of Choice with other former slaves.

     The Great Railroad Race: The Diary of Libby West, Utah Territory, 1868 

     Down the Rabbit Hole: The Diary of Pringle Rose, Chicago, Illinois, 1871 

     Land of the Buffalo Bones: The Diary of Mary Ann Elizabeth Rodgers, an English Girl in Minnesota, New Yeovil, Minnesota, 1873 

     My Face to the Wind: The Diary of Sarah Jane Price, a Prairie Teacher, Broken Bow, Nebraska, 1881 

     West to a Land of Plenty: The Diary of Teresa Angelino Viscardi, New York to Idaho Territory, 1883 

     A Coal Miner's Bride: The Diary of Anetka Kaminska, Lattimer, Pennsylvania, 1896 

  • Although Anetka's marriage is arranged and awkward, she very quickly bonds with his two youngest daughters, Rose and Lily, and eventually wins over the eldest, Violet, as well.
    • Just before Christmas, Rose and Lily tell Anetka that they want to start calling her Mama. She replies that it's the greatest Christmas present they could ever have given her. She's equally delighted when, some months later, Violet calls her Mama for the first time.
    • Her Slap-Slap-Kiss interactions with Leon, right up until They Do.
  • Anetka's friendship with Lidia. The two were virtual strangers until they got on the boat, but became fast friends. Anetka holds Lidia's hand while Lidia gives birth, and Lidia supports Anetka emotionally when her husband dies.
    • Later on, even while grieving for her own husband, Lidia is truly happy for Anetka when Leon turns out to have survived. She's just lost the love of her own life and it would be easy for Lidia to resent Anetka for having what she will never have again, but Lidia genuinely loves Anetka and is just glad that Anetka is getting another chance at happiness.

     Dreams in the Golden Country: The Diary of Zipporah Feldman, a Jewish Immigrant Girl, New York City, 1903 
  • Midway through the diary, Zipporah's middle sister Miriam marries an Irish-American fireman, causing her family to disown her and her mother to pretend she is dead. At the end, Miriam and her husband come to see Zipporah's play, and Miriam confronts her mother. The entire family makes up.
  • Around her birthday, Zipporah feels no one cares about her or notices her big day because life has been so chaotic. Her oldest sister Tovah makes a point to take her to a grown-up café, where other surprises like flowers and hair ribbons await.
  • Miriam's secret love interest Sean makes her a handmade card for Valentine's Day, despite the fact that their romance is forbidden on both sides.
  • During her big theatrical debut in Shulamith, Zippy bursts out crying backstage because she sees Miriam and Sean in the audience. Due to family troubles noted above, she hadn't seen her sister for months. Two actors step in to comfort her, and when she says she's no star, one of them tells her, "It all begins with a twinkle."

     A City Tossed and Broken: The Diary of Minnie Bonner, San Francisco, California, 1906 
  • Minnie’s kindness to Lily Sump despite the fact that she’s paid to help her, and her anger towards Mr. and Mrs. Sump. It’s also a Tear Jerker when it’s revealed that Minnie probably cared more about Lily than anyone else in her life.

     Hear My Sorrow: The Diary of Angela Denoto, a Shirtwaist Worker, New York City, 1909 
  • Angela starts off as a thread trimmer, but when their shop needs a new machine operator, Angela's new friend Sarah convinces their boss to promote Angela rather than one of the other girls, and then comes in early the next day so she can teach Angela without the pressure of them being on the clock.
  • Though the Triangle fire itself is a Tear Jerker, the way the community and family members come together in the aftermath, especially given some of the conflicts that had cropped up earlier in the book, is heartwarming.
  • The last scene between Angela and her family. She asks for permission to march in the parade for the dead, and her father not only gives it to her, but says the rest of the family will be there as well. Then, almost out of the blue, he and Mama begin talking about Angela, praising her intelligence and suggesting that Angela, who was a star student before she had to drop out to work, could begin going to night school. And then Luisa, who had been on the outs with Angela for over a year until the fire, speaks up.
    "Angela is a good worker too. She is respected as a girl who stands up for her beliefs and is willing to fight for others...Sometimes people say to me, 'Aren't you Angela Denoto's sister? I heard her translate speeches during the shirtwaist strike. That girl has courage. And I tell them, 'Si, Angela is my sister, and I'm proud of her'."

     Voyage on the Great Titanic: The Diary of Margaret Ann Brady, RMS Titanic, 1912 
  • Margaret gets on the Titanic as a companion to a wealthy woman, Mrs. Catstairs, who mostly ignores her. But after the tragedy (which they both survive), Mrs. Catstairs seeks out Margaret and speaks to her for the first time as an equal, even consoling her about the loss of her love interest.
  • A few hours earlier, as the final lifeboat is loading, Robert is trying to get Margaret onto it, but she's separated from it by a large crowd of people. However, as soon as Robert calls out that he has a young girl who needs to board, they all give way so that Margaret can get a seat and be saved.

     A Time for Courage: The Suffragette Diary of Kathleen Bowen, Washington, D.C., 1917 
  • The entire Bowen Family helping Alma during the disintegration of her parents' marriage.
    • Marietta figures out a way for Alma to be with Kat, while the latter serves tea to Alice Paul and the Women's Party at her mother's gathering, without Alma's sexist Father being the wiser. The solution?
      Tell her she got to come over tonight 'cause I got that cambric for your summer tea dresses and we've got to fit them up tonight.
    • Kat always trying to find a way to spend time with Alma and give her an escape from her Dysfunctional Family.
    • When Alma tells Dr. Bowen that Kat is afraid she'll be alone, due to Mrs. Bowen on the picket line and if he goes to the frontlines to treat the soldiers; he assures his daughter and niece that is job is to train the younger doctors at hospitals in the D.C. and Maryland area due to his experience in the Spanish American War, he snorts about his wife's noble cause being noble yet inconvenient. Alma then replies she wished her father was as civil and understanding as her uncle here and he assures her that she has a place in their household always.
  • That moment when the mentally disabled Clary sees her mother when she helps Alma and Kat take some heated bricks and coffee to the picket lines, obviously a lot of hugging and whooping and Tears of Joy.
  • Dr. Bowen allowing Kat to skip her a school day to come with him to the hospital, where she watched his teaching demos and got to understand percentages due to how they're used in the medical profession.
  • Clary and Kat enjoying their Victory Garden together; Dr. and Mrs. Bowen's romantic gazes.
  • Alma being comforted by the Countess of Limerick, who knows Alma is underage, doesn't care about that, and told her she once ran away with a drunk at her age who died within five years. "You haven't run away. You have run to something and therein lies all the difference," she tells the younger girl.
  • Clary and Kat picking the grown tomatoes from the Victory Garden, where they start biting into them (like with apples) and then started playing around in the rain. Kat notes it's the single happiest moment she had in months and for Clary, especially according to how Auntie Claire's maid Juby knows that Clary isn't able to do much and enjoy life due to how her disability was viewed in that era.
  • Mother's letter to her husband and daughter where she writes of her treatment in jail and notes how she hates she's missing several months of her daughter growing up and how their sacrifice is the greatest in the family, "that of the youngest child and the patient and understanding husband" and notes that they are all truth seekers.
  • Alma falling in love with a wounded soldier named Cyril.
  • The suffragists are released from jail, along with Mrs. Wilhelm and Kat's Mother, who've shown up for a school ceremony of their daughters, especially Kat winning an award for proficiency in Latin. Kat runs and hugs her mother.
  • The Epilogue reads that Alma married Cyril and became the Duchess of Eddington, Alma's parents reconciled, the families got together for her wedding at his family estate in England with Kat and Clary as bridesmaids, Kat soon met a man who was intrigued by her unique personality and daring after a coma, and she has three children—-one named Cassandra after Kat's late sister Cassie and gave Cassie her diary.

     When Christmas Comes Again: The World War I Diary of Simone Spencer, New York City to the Western Front, 1917 

     Like the Willow Tree: The Diary of Lydia Amelia Pierce, Portland, Maine, 1918 

  • Sister Jennie’s Team Mom attitude towards the young girls. When Grace asks if she has any children, she replies: “I do have children. I have all of you.”
  • Lydia adding her new friends and some of the Shaker women to her stone family.

     Color Me Dark: The Diary of Nellie Lee Love, the Great Migration North, Chicago, Illinois, 1919 

     Christmas After All: The Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1932 

     Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: The Diary of Bess Brennan, Perkins School for the Blind, 1932 
  • The relationship between Bess and her twin sister Elin falls into this. Elin does several small heartwarming things after Bess becomes blind, such as writing her diary entries and giving her cat a bell so Bess knows when she is nearby.

     Survival in the Storm: The Dust Bowl Diary of Grace Edwards, Dalhart, Texas, 1935 
  • Helen and Grace forgiving Sadie for everything she did in the end. Grace even sends Sadie her beloved copy of Anne Of Green Gables to cheer her up.

     One Eye Laughing, the Other Weeping: The Diary of Julie Weiss, Vienna, Austria to New York, 1938 
  • Julie's relationship with her father: the first entry states that she cannot ever go to sleep until her father is home form his patients and how Dr. Weiss NEVER goes to bed without giving her a good-night kiss.
  • Dr. Weiss's own dedication to his job, to the point where he ingratiates his patients into his social life and takes a lot of time with them. It's not wonder people call him "The Doctor" and why the butcher volunteered to stand guard at their residence after the Nazis have invaded the country.
    • Somewhat Harsher in Hindsight, as the epilogue reveals that Dr. Weiss was killed for refusing to leave a patient, an act that exemplified that dedication.
  • Julie's and Milli's relationship, until Milli does a Face–Heel Turn and leaves.
  • Julie and Doctor Weiss's relationship with Mr. and Mrs. Heller.
  • Julie's relationship with Mrs. Thompson, who is very dedicated to her job and expects her gifted students to make use of their talents and makes it very clear she won't tolerate Nazi thug tactics in her classroom.
  • When Mrs. Weiss talks to the family chauffeur Richard about how they can't keep him on as an employee since Jews are no longer permitted to have a car; he then states to her that he thinks the persecution is wrong and he doesn't know why it is happening, he will still accompany her on her shopping trips and carry her packages with his personal car. It's enough to make the depressed Mrs. Weiss happy.
  • Julie's memories of how her mother loved to visit the Prater and how she rode every ride, smiled, with the family eating ices and watching the fireworks.
  • Somehow, the remaining patients of Dr. Weiss seem to be getting very sick, just to make up for the loss of those patients that left for gentile doctors.
  • Before he left for Palestine, Max had left behind a copy of his favorite Rilke poem for his father and sister to read, just to let them know where he went to, for everyones' safety.
  • Despite Dr. Weiss choosing to stay with his patients, he makes sure Julie is able to immigrate to NYC safely and in the arms of his in-laws.
  • Aunt Clara always comes into Julie's bedroom every night since Julie arrived in the United States; this reminds Julie of when Dr. Weiss would come in and give her a good night kiss.
  • The elevator operator befriending the depressive Julie, helping her with American slang and letting her operate the elevator lever along with sharing some information about the neighbors in the apartment building.
  • Aunt Clara's glee at how Julie told her she would pretend to be Alice during her 11th year, with Julie noting how she loves how her melancholy aunt laughing.
  • Aunt Clara and Uncle Martin: a Happily Married Odd Couple. She's a melancholy actress, he's a jokey financier who takes photographs as a hobby that makes her laugh. He also helped her recover from a depression after her old boyfriend, Julie's father, eloped with her sister (Julie's Mother) and went through the death of a child and immigrating to the United States with her.
  • When Julie finally tears up in front of her Aunt and Uncle, Clara pulls her close and asked if she'd want to talk about her worries, which Julie finally did.
  • Uncle Martin playing "Sober Sue" with his niece, just to get her to feel like she's already home.
  • Uncle Martin believes that the birthday person should give presents to their loved ones rather than the other way around: he gives Clara a Tiffany's necklace, their governess/maid Susie a box of Mallomars and Julie a yo-yo which he helped teach her tricks with along with roller skates and some lessons.

     Early Sunday Morning: The Pearl Harbor Diary of Amber Billows, Hawaii, 1941 
  • Mr. Poole, a kindly bookstore owner, has his own sign telling customers that "Children Read For Free".
  • Kame's relationship with her aunt Miss Kozuke.
  • Mrs. Billows inviting Kame and her family to Christmas dinner, after comforting her about her shame in being Japanese.
  • The family makes some time to watch How Green Was My Valley before Christmas, which touches Amber to tears.
    I cried from beginning to end. I don't usually cry at movies. I don't know what came over me. Lately I feel real sensitive, and the movie made me think about how much I care about my family. Even Andy was choked up, you could tell.
  • Amber notes she loves hugging her father, he smells like ice cream soda to her.

     The Fences Between Us: The Diary of Piper Davis, Seattle, Washington, 1941 

  • Pastor Davis relents at the beginning of the book where his son announces he enlisted in the navy and tells his song that "You have grown up into a fine young man".
    • While Hank was at boot camp the previous summer, while Pastor sent him news clippings of the war abroad, Margie just sent him jokes.
  • The Davis Family's relationship with their Kindly Housekeeper Mrs. Harada, who has been with the family since Margie was a baby and looked onto the kids as her own children. She even gifts Piper her first diary for her birthday just so the girl can write what she felt, even playfully scolding their father when he turned a "cheer-up gift into a sermon" about self-reflection.
  • Piper, Margie, and Pastor hugging one another on the sofa while worried for Hank's safety during the Pearl Harbor broadcasts.
  • Piper's principal Miss Mahon, called an assembly of students urging them that they are all American citizens despite not looking the same and citizens treat each other with respect, this touches Piper who thought her to be an old battle-ax.
  • Margie gets engaged to her boyfriend Stan and marry him before he goes off to the Army.
    • The wedding was small and beautiful, with red velvet cake and plum wine served.
  • Piper's class being ecstatic to know that Hank Davis is alive after the attack.
    • The Davis Family starts to treat Hank's friend John (transferred to Seattle for injuries) as part of the family; with he and Piper exchanging letters to one another where he writes to her about his crush on a girl in a college course he is taking.
  • Despite prejudice and hostility, the Ladies' Circle from Piper's church brought some Bibles and cookies for the veterans in the burn ward, with Mrs. Harada acting as a mother hen to John, to cheer them up.
    • Piper even gets an idea to fold paper cranes for servicemen to recover after she saw Betty had folded one. The kids made 200 but the hospital banned anything Japanese after a member of military authority said it would be poor for morale.
  • Margie's visit to the campgrounds to visit the congregation and her father and sister where she convinced Pastor Davis to let up and allow Piper to wear the Tangee lipstick she wanted to wear.
    • Margie shows herself to be a little understanding of Piper (who is going steady with Bud), even finding Bud's pin in Piper's laundry, telling her that she will keep it secret but suggests she invites Bud over for dinner to meet Pop.
    • During Margie's visit, she sewed bolero vests for her little sister and Betty (even more heartwarming when you realize she made a vest for her future sister-in-law)and taught them how to play Spite and Malice (card game); and bought her father some necessary fur-lined driving gloves.
  • After Jim was jumped by a farmer's two sons while helping with a harvest, a big guy named Dean decides to shadow him for safety. He even said that Dean confessed to him that he used to be "thickheaded as anybody about the Japanese" until he worked with Jim and shook his hand for all the other workers to see. Nice to see not everyone in Eden, Idaho is a bigot.
    • To a lesser extent, when the "colonists" (euphemism for the Japanese at internment camps) are able to apply for passes to go into town, they met some nice storeowners, one of them a lady at a five-and-ten-cent store helping them pick out prizes and noisemakers for a party to throw for the younger kids and she did it gleefully, even urging them to buy candy for the kids.
  • Piper getting closer to the Sato kids than she did back in Seattle, after playing a game of Monopoly at their cabin, Jim made her laugh so much that she noted in her diary it was nice having a big brother around again.
    • The two of them are developing a crush on one another too....
  • A girl named Jeanne Takahashi boards with Piper and her father before going to work as a nurse in Chicago; she takes care of Piper when the younger girl gets an awful cold, fluffing pillows and making her cinnamon toast and tea. Piper pronounces her as the best nurse in the world.
  • Hank and Betty have been writing letters to one another; the epilogue soon reveals that they married after the war and raised children. Betty became an in-law to Piper, Margie, and Pastor.
  • Miss Mc Cullough takes care of Margie for awhile and teaches her how to play poker (not that Pastor Davis will know).
  • The epilogue reveals how beloved and honored Pastor Davis was by the Japanese American community: his 1979 retirement banquet had almost 1000 people attending!

     My Secret War: The World War II Diary of Madeline Beck, Long Island, New York, 1941 
  • Theo's affections for Clara, especially given that he is a toughie, whether it's the looks he has when she sings or telling off the Nosy Neighbor and Innocently Insensitive Miss Burke for poking into the business of the Rosenthal family.
  • Maddie's father calls her and her Mother, "Sweetheart" and "Doodlebug" in his letters.
  • The boarders at Hawkins' Boarding House all come together to comfort Mrs. Rosenthal during an air raid drill. Doubly heartwarming since it turns out she narrowly escaped the Nazis.

     With the Might of Angels: The Diary of Dawnie Rae Johnson, Hadley, Virginia, 1954 
  • In the epilogue, Dawnie learned in medical school that her brother Gobber had autism, but was never diagnosed or given anything to navigate the world better. So she decides to become a pediatric neurologist to help children like him.
  • Dawnie and Gobber reconciling at Christmas.
  • Dawnie and Gertie’s entire friendship, especially in the face of both racism and antisetmism from their classmates.
  • Gertie telling Dawnie that she’s seen a lot of black doctors in New York City, where she lived before moving to Hadley. It makes Dawnie more determined to pursue her dreams of medical school herself.

     Where Have All the Flowers Gone? The Diary of Molly Mac Kenzie Flaherty, Boston, Massachusetts, 1968 
  • After Molly feared her quiet and passive mother resents having her and her older siblings after she was given a copy of The Feminine Mystique, she talks to her Mother who tells her she doesn't regret having her kids but she wants Molly to not have to sacrifice her individuality, career, education, and personality to be a passive housewife but she is thinking of going back to school. Molly then notices her mother sports the same mischievous smile as Molly's older brother Patrick.
  • Molly spends a large portion of the book volunteering with wounded soldiers at a hospital. When her brother is critically injured and not expected to live, the patients she's been working with reach out to support her and give her hope (and, as her brother defies the odds and begins to recover, to reassure her).

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