Dear old world, you are very lovely, and I am happy to be alive in you.
Marilla finally sees an oculist, and his prognosis is not great: Best case scenario, if she gives up reading and sewing and such, the headaches will go away. But if she continues as she’s been doing, she may go blind in six months.
How sadly things had changed since she had sat there the night after coming home! Then she had been full of hope and joy and the future had been rosy with promise. Anne felt as if she had lived years since then, but before she went to bed there was a smile on her lips and peace in her heart. She had looked her duty courageously in the face and found it a friend – as duty ever is when we meet it frankly.
Clearly Anne made up her mind about something…
Then, a few days later, Marilla’s talking about selling Green Gables, since all of her and Matthew’s money was in the bank that failed and she can’t keep managing the farm on her own.
“I’m sorry you won’t have a home to come to in your vacations, that’s all, but I suppose you’ll manage somehow.”
Marilla broke down and wept bitterly.
“You mustn’t sell Green Gables,” said Anne resolutely.
“Oh, Anne, I wish I didn’t have to. But you can see for yourself. I can’t stay here alone. I’d go crazy with trouble and loneliness. And my sight would go – I know it would.”
“You won’t have to stay here alone, Marilla. I’ll be with you. I’m not going to Redmond. […] Nothing could be worse than giving up Green Gables – nothing could hurt me more. We must keep the dear old place. My mind is quite made up, Marilla. I’m not going to Redmond; and I am going to stay here and teach. Don’t you worry about me a bit.”
“But your ambitions – and – “
“I am just as ambitious as ever. Only I’ve changed the object of my ambitions. I’m going to be a good teacher – and I’m going to save your eyesight.”
Life doesn’t always turn out how you plan, but I’ve found that if you roll with the punches and take life as it comes, you just might turn out alright. My road has been a winding one, but I’m glad for the journey.
Anne resolves to keep studying on her own time, but she thinks she’ll have to settle for the school the next district over…until Gilbert gives up the Avonlea school to her. And she just so happens to meet him on her way home from Matthew’s grave.
“Gilbert,” she said, with scarlet cheeks, “I want to thank you for giving up the school for me. It was very good of you – and I want you to know that I appreciate it.”
[…] It wasn’t particularly good of me at all, Anne. I was pleased to be able to do you some small service. Are we going to be friends after this? Have you really forgiven me my old fault?”
[…] “I forgave you that day by the pond landing, although I didn’t know it. What a stubborn little goose I was. I’ve been – I may as well make a complete confession – I’ve been sorry ever since.”
“We are going to be the best of friends,” said Gilbert jubilantly. “We were born to be good friends, Anne. You’ve thwarted destiny long enough.”
Marilla comments on how long she spends saying goodbye to him.
“I didn’t think you and Gilbert Blythe were such good friends that you’d stand for half an hour at the gate talking to him,” said Marilla, with a dry smile.
“We haven’t been – we’ve been good enemies. But we have decided that it will be much more sensible to be good friends in future.”
So she’s made up her mind about what she wants to do, and finally made up with Gilbert. That’s about all that I could want from her when she’s still sixteen.
Anne’s horizons had closed in since the night she had sat there after coming home from Queen’s; but if the path set before her feet was to be narrow she knew that flowers of quiet happiness would bloom along it. The joys of sincere work and worthy aspirations and congenial friendship were to be hers; nothing could rob her of her birthright of fancy or her ideal world of dreams. And there was always the bend in the road!
And with that, this story draws to a close.
“God’s in his heaven, all’s right with the world.”