Friday, July 28, 2017

Widow's Walk

'My Lover's bones are lost at Sea, but his soul shall ever be with me.'

Last week I went to friends wedding. The wedding was in a small country church and was lightening fast. Got to love Anglican's, I think we were in an out of the church in under 15 minutes. The reception on the other hand, went on much longer, and I am thankful for it. It was located in a huge old mansion, now an inn. Although the inn has bedrooms, they are not rented out for people on vacation, or a weekend away, they are rented only for guests on the nights they hold receptions, functions and murder mystery nights.

I didn't spend the night, but did stay late, late enough to be one of the last few people to leave. The owner, instead of wanting to hurry us out, took the quite of the late hour to offer us a tour. I was taken by the many staircases and the tall windows that looked out at the ocean in the distance. It was too dark to see from inside, but was able to see, and hear it, on the last stop on our tour.

After visiting many rooms, and many floors, we entered a small room, almost like a closet on the 5th floor. There was nothing in the room but a spiral staircase leading up to the roof. The stairs led to a Window's walk, or widow's watch, a small circular balcony on the roof of the home. I think I heard stories of brides waiting for their husbands tor return from war, staring out at the ocean in the hopes of seeing lights from a boat coming home. I don't think I ever thought about the way I did last weekend as the tour guide told stories about the widow who occupied the house so many decades ago.

I am not sure how much was fact, or how much was 'show' for the mansions many murder mystery nights, but I couldn't help but think about all the young men who never returned home. Lost at sea, killed in battle, terrified, ultimately alone. What really struck me is how forgotten these men now are. Before computers, before even a time when not everyone had a phone, sometimes it was months between a husband's death, and a wife being told. So many bodies never returned home, and most of the those who died, no longer have living relatives who remember, and can pass on their stories.

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