We remained for two months in our lonely home, after the death of my mother; at the end of which time the new owner took possession of the dwelling. Aunt Patience had decided upon going to reside with a relative who lived in Massachusetts, and the interest of the money, deposited for her use, was to be regularly remitted to her. We disposed of the furniture, with the exception of a few cherished articles, which I reserved for myself; these the purchaser kindly allowed me to leave in one of the upper rooms till I might wish to remove them. The same day that Aunt Patience set out on her journey to Massachusetts, I returned to Mrs. Leighton.
It was well for me that my mind was actively employed; had it been otherwise I should have continually brooded over my sorrows. As it was, when engaged with my duties in the school-room, my thoughts would wander to those two graves in the church-yard, and my tears would fall upon the book from which I was listening to a recitation from my pupils. Georgania having left home, I had only Birdie and Lewis as pupils. Much pity did those affectionate children evince for me when they could not but observe my grief. Birdie would often say,—
“Please, Miss Roscom, do not grieve so much; we all love you dearly, and will be very kind to you.”
And Lewis, who could never bear to see my tears, would say,—
“I will be a little brother to you, Miss Roscom, so please don’t cry any more.”
To please my pupils, I endeavored to appear cheerful; but truly the heart knoweth its own bitterness. One thought, however, afforded me some consolation, and that was, that I was obeying my mother’s dying injunction, by striving to do my duty in the position in which I was placed. As days and months passed away, I, in some measure, regained my usual cheerfulness, although I was nowise inclined to forget my mother.
A year had now passed since I saw her laid in the grave. I often visited her resting-place, and there I renewed my resolve to follow her precepts; and many a time, kneeling by her grave did I implore wisdom from on high to enable me to follow the counsels I had so often received from those lips, now sealed in silence. It seemed to me, at such times, that I almost held communion with the spirit of my mother.
I experienced much kindness from every member of Mr. Leighton’s family. I spent my leisure time mostly in my room. They did not, of course, invite me to join parties, but they would often urge me to join a few friends in their own parlor; but I always replied that my deep mourning must be my excuse. I had no taste for company or mirth.