“I think it doesn’t matter. We lived our life. We both kept small lives. Mine smaller than yours. We kept small lives, we had what we needed, and demanded that we determine harshly what we wanted that we actually acquired. It was a different time than now.”

“I worry about my girls.”

“Of course you do. That’s what we do. That’s the mother, we worry, she worries, they will worry too. We will watch over them, you will watch over them. It will be okay.”

“What is this place?”

“It is home. It looks like the old home as far as we can tell from the old pictures and from Belle and Ellen’s memories. We live here, we work here.”

“Why is there work? Why is there still work? I thought we would be done with work by now.”

“We work to keep busy. It’s not hard work, it’s work to stay occupied. It’s work to stay busy. It’s not work that has to be done so there isn’t an immediacy to it. Mother Abby often darns socks, I do needlework. The other’s choose something to do. I believe the modern girls would call it a stitch and b… a stitch and .. bi… well. you know. We stay together and do little projects. Only things that make us feel peaceful. I never thought I’d be darning socks in the afterlife, but now I do it because it reminds me of how resourceful we were in life, how peaceful I felt knowing there was enough. How peaceful I felt when I knew what the personal definition of enough was.”

“I think my girl has learned that lesson better than most of the modern girls.”

“Yes, your youngest girl has a gift. She has a connection to us all that has not been seen in anyone else in our line. It’s as if she reaches out to us with every glance at a picture, with every walk through the cemetery, with ever stroke of her fingers on the keyboard as she writes our history for us. She feels us keenly when she is sleeping, and she carries some of that with her as she wakes. She is a remarkable girl.”

“She is getting married isn’t she?”

“Yes, in six weeks time. She bought her wedding dress the day before you came to us.”

“Somehow I knew. I don’t know how I knew but I did. I hadn’t seen in her years, she thought I was too far gone to see, and she rarely traveled anywhere near me anyway. But I knew she was happy, I knew she was safe, it was part of what helped me to let go.”

“Yes, your work was done. She will be married. She will do the right thing in her life.”

“How do we watch them?”

“We can see them through this doorway, it isn’t always clear, but we are like a house that no one notices. We are the neighbor who happens to see all the neighborhood gossip happening our their window while doing dishes. We will be able to watch these last two girls as they live their life. Sometimes they will sense that we are near, not often, because they would not pay attention if it happened enough to be regular.”

“The youngest knows for sure, she sensed things when Charles died that no one else did. She is aware of things that I never paid attention to.”

“You were busy, she is a child of the stars and the sky. She is a flighty thing only rooted to the ground by her man and her intelligence. And us. As wispy as we are, we help to keep her grounded. We are the heaviness in her feet that keeps her rooted firmly in her home and on the ground.”


“I don’t mean that in a negative way. I don’t mean it like I would if I said we gave her a heavy heart. The heaviness in her feet is what I mean when I refer to the security that she feels. If she felt that she would fly away, she would never risk a dream or a thought that was not practical. Since she feels so grounded, she can take all the larks she wants to in her mind, she can think of far off places, she can be free to roam and learn and dream and do whatever she pleases. It is also what frees her to be able to look for us. If she were busy doing housework and cleaning all the day long she would never be looking for us, Since she is seeking us she will find us many times and in many different ways. She will see herself in you, she will carry parts of you as a talisman against the world and as part of the heaviness that will keep her rooted. She will feel the lines of women standing behind her when she births her child, when she cares for him, when she faces what life has to offer that is hard, she will know we are there. You have taught her well, she will succeed. You will be proud.”