April 15th 1860
It has been an absolute age since I last committed my thoughts to paper! There is much to say and much that has been forgotten, but the call to set down my thoughts once more has been strong, of late.
I must confess that it was the sight of the newly widowed Mrs Cornbench – alone and seated shrunkenly at the service this past Sunday – that has brought me to a sensation I feel I must lay down here, in private, where no one will censure my thoughts.
I envy her.
She sat without her husband, whose burial mound is still not sunken, and without her children. I do not know where they were – I trust being cared for by another until she is able to return to them – but as I watched her sit there, unburdened and untouched, I wished that she were me.
She held her hands in her lap, her wedding band clearly loose on her finger. Loose, worn-down and dull as a mid-March morning. As I stared, I felt my own band pinching the skin on my left hand, causing my finger to swell slightly and wish me to be rid of it.
Oh, how wicked this thought is!
I feel the constraints of my wedding ring as keenly as I do my marriage. God strike me, I wish Josiah were as liable to imminent loss as Mrs Cornbench’s ring. To slide noiselessy from sight and touch, its absence more likely to be noted by observers, than by her or me.