Often, I have thought how hard it must have
been for my dear wife, Sarah, when she realized she was soon to leave us, to speak to her
children in words something like as follows:
"When I am gone, your father will be lonesome, but I know that I must go. I love you all so much. It is hard for me to think of having to leave you all."
"It will be hard for your father if he has no wife to look after him, so I ask you to do all you can for his happiness and welfare. "
"Help him to get a wife who will be good to him, a good housekeeper, clean and tidy."
I am sure, that such words could not have been spoken, except without selfishness and jealousy and with deep love in her heart.
For years I have thought about that dear wife and the feelings and emotions that must have been crowded up in her heart that she so expressed her desire for my happiness.
Many incidents and experiences have come into my life in the past, which are very sacred to memory. They have touched my soul in such a way that I could not control the tear drops, the tears of joy and of love.
It has been hard for me to tell of the above mentioned incidents, of my experiences that have followed since that fateful Autumn of 1951.
But, surely the Lord has blessed me and my family and has answered our prayers.
REMEMBRANCES OF JESSIE FOWERS
Many years had passed since I first knew and
remembered the very attractive little girl, Jessie Powers.
I remember her as a little girl as I would take her by the hand to help her into our sleigh while on the way to school.
I remember her as we studied our lessons together while at school, or when she had a problem in arithmetic and would ask me to help her.
I remember how we walked home together after school hours; sometimes through mud or deep melting snow when she could get wet feet.
Still, she seemed happy and laughed about such conditions. Such was her life and I don't remember seeing her when she acted as if angry.
I wonder if she ever went home and cried when she felt disappointed over something that had happened?
Happy experiences of childhood live on in our memories and we would not want to forget them.
There was something about Jessie's ways and manners that I could not help but admire. She was sociable, agreeable and kind and just bashful enough that the pretty blush would always show in her face.
She was so attractive that John W. Daybell soon was convince that he wished her to become his wife. I wonder if she was too bashful to say no! She says it was easy for her to say yes, because she really did love him.
They were married in the Salt Lake Temple, January 16, 1901, while I was in the Mission field in Old Virginia.
Although after her marriage I was not so familiar with her life and movements, I did meet her on different occasions and I was sure she was a wonderful wife and mother. And no one need be surprised to learn that after years had passed and we were alone without a life companion, my thoughts had turned to her and I remember her kindly.
Then I began to inquire as to her whereabouts. When I found her, I was determined that she would not evade me.
I have no doubt that she had given up all thoughts of ever marrying again. Yet when I talked to her and told her how much I needed her, she could not turn me down.
I am wondering that if the friendship and respect we had for each other while in our youth may not have made it easier for true love to be kindled in our hearts for each other when we found we were both alone and lonesome.
I am not sure that she ever said yes, when I pressed my demands. But she allowed me to place a ring upon her finger, and I told her that was an indication of a promise, and that I did not want to ever have to sue her for breach of promise.
I think my words had the desired effect because she continued to wear the ring. I understand that the one thing that weighed heavily upon her mind was the question, "How could she explain to her family and give them a reasonable excuse for her willingness to marry again?" It was different with me. I knew my children were happy because I was to marry Jessie. She was the kind of woman that they had hoped for as a step mother.
And now to be serious, I am sure that her children could not show such respect and treat me so well, if they thought their mother had made a mistake in marrying me.
As I write this page we are still visiting in California. It is April 11, 1960. We have been very happy together for more than seven years. This is our third trip to visit with her children and their families in California. Likewise, we have much enjoyed their visits with us in Utah. It is wonderful having married a wife and after years of experience together, to be sure that she is all and even better than you had thought that she could ever be. Jessie is a wonderful, good wife, so thoughtful and kind; a wonderful cook and so interested in her home. This I need not tell to those who know her.
I have not been able to do manual labor on the farm for some years, but I have been interested each year in going to Strawberry Valley and directing the work necessary for the better care of the herd and to obtain the better use of the feed and to protect its roots and seed. Each year Jessie has spent some time with me at Strawberry Camp, and especially when members of her family or grandchildren were vacationing out there.
I have never had to stay there for long at a time, alone. Craig and Mark Daybell have spent much time with me. Earl
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