Because He Loved Me
Hello! I was hoping you would stop by today. Here let me take your coat. And your hat also, of course. Come in to the parlor, where it’s warmer. Quite the snow storm out there isn’t it? Here, let us sit by the fireside. I’ll take up this chair and will you not take up the other? Good. Oh yes, please warm your hands by the fire. Now here’s Annie with the tea. Just set the tea things on this table by my side. There. Thank you Annie! Yes, finish up super and have all the pies warmed up well. Alright Annie, hurry along! A cup of tea, young sir? Oh, you’re quite welcome! Two or three lumps of sugar? Four?! Of course I don’t mind at all! Have as many sugar cubes as you like. Just don’t eat too many or you’ll be sick tonight! So you called again to hear a story! Well give me a minute to think. Of course I don’t mind! Young people! Ugh! I would be absolutely delighted to tell you yet again another story. This one is about when I was younger, about fifteen years old, which is just about you’re age.
Every early October the Brown family would host a special barn dance. Families from all around would get dressed up for the occasion. Yes, I would get my best dress on, hoop skirt and all! Now I am telling you this because I want you to get a good picture of it all. Because in this particular story something happened that has changed my life forever…
October 12th, 1832 in the woods of the Virginia country, our wagon was swiftly moving along. The Brown’s lived a good ten miles from our farm. I loved those rides! Well to be honest, I loved riding on anything. The wind would blow my long brown hair behind me. I know it’s hard to believe I once had brown hair. Slivery gray isn’t very pretty, you know. Anyway, the trees would glide by and the sunset was a variety of warm colors. I would always sit next to my older brother, William. William was pretty much always the perfect older brother to me. He was sometimes a bit too bossy, but other than that he was the best! He would smile at me when I exclaimed out loud how beautiful the sunsets were. On the other side of the wagon would sit my older sister Margaret, other older brother Edmund and little Mary. Quietly from time to time they would mumble things back and forth on this or that. But William and me would hardly ever speak.
Now I must add in here that William was only my half-brother. My Mama had married once before. Her husband died ten days after William was born, because a huge pine tree had tragically crushed him. After that Mama and William moved to Virginia where they met my Papa. They were both married soon after.
Finally we would arrive! The barn would always be glowing with many lanterns and music could be heard coming out of the big red barn. We were all allowed to roam about the barn, visiting or dancing. I went and sat down on a bench near Mr. Grayson who was one of the two fiddlers. I turned my head and watched as John Brown asked my sister to dance, and she was quickly whisked around with the others on the dance floor. Little Mary stayed with Mama along with the other Mother’s and young ones. Edmund would usually run off with some of his friends to play conkers or marbles. And then William and Papa would go and sit with the men and talk. Once in a while William and a few others would go and dance for a bit. I spotted some friends of mine and went to go talk with them. Joy and Elizabeth were two of my good friends. But on that night Joy was sick in bed at home, and Elizabeth ignored me completely. I later found out it was because of what mean ol’ Charlie had gossiped about me. Tears burned my cheeks as most of my friends turned their backs on me. Angry and extremely disappointed on the awful night it was going to be, I hurried up the back ladder to the hay mow. William must have seen me running away and quickly followed behind. Crying, I told him all about it. He was a good listener and almost seemed glad that he was not below. William was a leader and could talk hard if he needed to, but most of the time he was quiet and gentle. He wiped the tears off my eyes and was about to speak when we heard someone climbing the ladder. . . . To be continued!