Today’s story forecast is for a rather large storm — the type that can pull apart and destroy.
“Where is Papa?” Louisa sat down next to where her mother was pulling weeds.
Lydia lay aside the weeds she had just pulled and removed her gloves. “He is at the shop.”
“He is often at the shop or with Uncle Denny.”
Lydia heard the accusation and hurt that lay behind the words. She hoped that finally her daughter was going to speak of what had been keeping her silent and withdrawn for the last month. Lydia placed an arm around Louisa’s shoulders and gave her a squeeze. “I am sorry. He stays away because of me.” She blinked to keep the tears from falling. It had hurt to think such things but to put a voice to them was even more cutting. “He loves you.” Even if he does not love me.
Louisa sniffled. “I miss him.”
As do I. “I know.” She used her handkerchief to dry her daughter’s eyes as a tear escaped her own.
“Why?” Louisa looked up at her. “Why did you leave us? It made Thomas and Papa very sad.”
Lydia expelled the breath she had been holding. “I was foolish. I wished to see my sister.” She blew out another breath. Telling your child of your shortcomings was not an easy task. “I had spent more money than I was allowed, and my sister’s husband is very rich. I thought if I could go see her, she might give me the money so your father would not know of the over expenditure and be unhappy with me.” She played with a lock of Louisa’s hair as she held her close. “It was not a well-thought-out plan.”
“Papa was angry. He yelled at everyone, and then Uncle Denny yelled back and Aunt Kitty took us to her house.”
“I am sorry,” Lydia said again. “He was angry at me. I had left on a trip without his approval and with a man who was not my husband. I only meant to have someone with me to make sure of my safety. Travelling can be dangerous, especially for a woman. But it was wrong.” She pulled back from her daughter so that she could see Louisa’s face. “He was right to be angry with me.”
Louisa brushed a tear from her mother’s face. “Is that why he stays away? He is still angry with you?” Her voice was hushed.
Lydia nodded and pulled her daughter close once again. “I believe so.” Her heart ached at the thought. “We could go see him. I need some fabric to make a cloth for the table.” She released her daughter from her hug. “Help me gather these weeds for the fire, and then we will get our things.”
Louisa piled the weeds into her apron and gathered it up like a sack. She bent and placed a kiss on her mother’s cheek. “Mama?”
“I love you.” She scampered off to dispose of the weeds.
Lydia smiled and gathered her gloves and both her hat and Louisa’s. At least one person was not longer angry with her.
Continue reading Chapter 6.