“I would like more of your quiet spirit, but that belongs to you, and if I wait and work hard to do it, I shall always be upsetting what I wish to do, and plaguing others instead of helping—” Mother came in and our talk was at an end.
Fears and hopes.
Many thoughts filled my mind after what Clara had said, and I thought much of her beautiful faith as to her husband and his waiting for her; of her trust in his coming, and of the reality with which came into her existence this wonderful future that waits for us all if (and sometimes this little conjunction assumed wonderful proportions) immortality really be ours. My heart told me we were to live, and in my higher thoughts I could sometimes see the light that flooded those old hills near our home, reaching far on to where all those of our household were waiting. I never at these times could think of our beloved friends, my blessed grandmother, of whom we did not even possess a daguerreotype, as an angelic and unearthly something with wings, but rather as a real being, whose face I should recognize, whose hands should touch my own, while her lips would move, and in her dear old way she would say “Come in, Emily,” just as she used to when I went as a child to her door, and looked in at her, as she lay on her bed, partly paralyzed. Her hair was white with the cares of seventy-four winters, and her eyes filled then with such a pleasant light. She had lived with us, this dear Grandma Northrop, for years. Hal had always been her special charge; she called him her boy, and up to the last month of her life mended his stockings first; she would go to the door and watch him go for the cows, and when he came back over the west meadows, would say with admiration:
“That boy is worth a dozen such as Ben Davis; he’ll do something great before he dies.”
My mother spoke often of her, and also recalled her saying, “I hope angels can see men,” meaning that she could not bear the thought of leaving Hal.
I was only five years old when she left us, still her memory was sacred to me, and through the summer days I covered her grave with everlasting flowers and daisies. I remembered her as genial, though somewhat peculiar in her ways; she had a warm appreciation of wit, and was ever ready with answers. Mother remembered and told me so many of her happy sayings that it kept her memory fresh among us all, and if angels could both see and hear men, she must have felt grateful that we remembered her with such pleasure. I treasured the hoop ear-rings which she wore, and which bore her initials, “E.L.N.” Her name was Elizabeth, but she was called by all “Betsey.” To Hal she had left two silver spoons and her snuff-box. He had it among his little treasures, and kept the same bean in it that was there when she died. I wished a thousand times and more that my name might be Elizabeth, but