There are so many lovely “mother” moments in the Outlander books. Although bittersweet, my favorite is this conversation between Claire and Mother Hildegarde, when Claire returns to L'Hôpital des Anges while she and Jamie are in Paris to make preparations for setting sail to search for Young Ian:
“It was a small stone, made of a soft white marble. A pair of cherub’s wings spread out across the top, sheltering the single word that was the stone’s only other decoration. “Faith,” it read.
I stood looking down at it until my vision blurred. I had brought a flower; a pink tulip—not the easiest thing to find in Paris in December, but Jared kept a conservatory. I knelt down and laid it on the stone, stroking the soft curve of the petal with a finger, as though it were a baby’s cheek.”
“I thought I wouldn’t cry,” I said a little later.
I felt the weight of Mother Hildegarde’s hand on my head.
“Le Bon Dieu orders things as He thinks best,” she said softly. “But He seldom tells us why.”
I took a deep breath and wiped my cheeks with a corner of my cloak. “It was a long time ago, though.” I rose slowly to my feet and turned to find Mother Hildegarde watching me with an expression of deep sympathy and interest.
“I have noticed,” she said slowly, “that time does not really exist for mothers, with regard to their children. It does not matter greatly how old the child is—in the blink of an eye, the mother can see the child again as it was when it was born, when it learned to walk, as it was at any age—at any time, even when the child is fully grown and a parent itself.”
“Especially when they’re asleep,” I said, looking down again at the little white stone. “You can always see the baby then.”
Excerpt From: Diana Gabaldon. “Voyager.” iBooks.