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Page:Sketch of Connecticut, Forty Years Since.djvu/91

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FORTY YEARS SINCE.

our breakfast of potatoes, the youngest boy, who was then about five years old, lifted up to me his bright eye, and rosy face, and said, "Mother, when I am a little bigger, the farmers will hire me to work, and then I shall bring you home, a bushel of rye." But what made me feel for a little while, as if I did not know how to get along, was when my father and mother came to live with me, just after I was left a widow. I was willing to work my fingers to the bone for them, but they were old, and infirm people, and my house was very small, and I feared that I could not make them comfortable. It did seem to me too, that my sister, who sent them down to me from Vermont, was better able to take care of them than I; for she had a husband, and a good farm, and was well-off in the world— while I had to work early and late to get my children bread. But I thought again—God has ordered it, and he will provide; though I have not even a barrel of meal, or a cruse of oil, like the widow in the Old Testament.[1] And so it was—we were all able to live upon the little that my hands obtained, until my poor mother became sick and bedrid; and then the good people were very kind to help me to medicines, and comfortable things for her. She was a heavy woman, and in lifting her I strained my breast, so that it has never been strong since. But how much more did she endure for me in my infancy—and how small a part could I pay the mother, who had patience with my helpless and wayward years. Often have I thought, when I was broke of my rest for many nights, and had

  1. This is the story of the Widow of Zarephath who, during a severe drought, believed she had enough food for a final small meal. Elijah was told to ask her to feed him—before feeding herself and her son, and she did as he asked. This scant supply of a cruse of oil and a handful of meal miraculously fed her, her son, and Elijah for many days. Her son then dies and Elijah raises him from the dead. 1 Kings 17:9-24.