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LovieThe Story of a Southern Midwife and an Unlikely Friendship$
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Lisa Yarger

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469630052

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469630052.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

The Fig Tree

The Fig Tree

(p.55) 7 The Fig Tree

Lisa Yarger

University of North Carolina Press

Lovie confronts her anxieties about aging and retirement and the knowledge that she can’t keep delivering babies forever. Her identity is so thoroughly bound up with midwifery that she fears losing herself if she gives up her work. Lovie and the narrator grapple with a host of issues: What does it mean to be of service? What makes work meaningful? What does it mean to give up work that one believes one was put on earth to do? Folded into this is Lovie’s sense of her calling, her view of midwifery as sacred work and of herself partnering with God to bring new life into the world. Lovie turns 75, an occasion that initially seems to grant her permission to begin letting go of some things, possibly even midwifery. The narrator reflects on her listening role in doing documentary fieldwork with Lovie and questions her desire to pin Lovie down.

Keywords:   aging, retirement, service, calling, identity, midwifery, documentary fieldwork

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