No Daffodils Here
There are no daffodils. I kneel at Jennie’s grave and notice the death date seems off. I snap a pic to verify later and suddenly get lost in my thoughts.
“Chasing ghosts?” My husband asks. I don’t look up but mutter slightly, “nope chasing stories.
Chasing their story... Annie, Jennie’s Ruth’s and I guess even mine- the epilogue.
It is bone cold out today and the clouds hang low in Utah’s cache county. Close by I see Jennie and Marie’s father, Thomas X’s grave, but it is more like a monument (he was one of Logans’s most prominent citizens and a bishop of the 7th Ward for 47 years). Annie’s grave e is close by and a few rows over are Leo’s and Marie’s - they are all here, but there are no daffodils.
I trace Jennie’s name with my fingertips and then put my red mittens back on and tighten my red scarf. December in Logan is no joke. Today seems a little dismal or perhaps it is my frustration growing.
“What am I looking for?”
Next stop is Logan’s first rail depot. The place where Jennie and Edwin’s worlds collided. My husband smiles and let’s me wander. Located between 8th and 9th West, we find the depot, and I find the motherlode. An architecture and design firm calls the depot home. They have maintained the integrity of this historic site in ways unimaginable. On a nearby wall, I see names of men who once worked here etched in the old wood. I try in vain to find Edwin’s name but to no avail.
I get lost in my thoughts trying to imagine Edwin here working fiercely so he can steal a few moments with Jennie when he completes his duties.
Next, I head to West Center Street looking for Leo and Marie’s home. In its day, Center Street was the hub of activity in Logan. Several mansion style homes line the street and then I find it- 281 West Center- the place where my father, Kimball and his brother Kurt spent their first years while their father, Max was off to war.
My dad always thought of himself a Kimball, but then why did I have this absolute resolve that I was a Stoddard. I have always felt an allegiance to Jennie. Even though it was Marie’s dark brown eyes that stared back at me from the mirror and her spunky nature that directed my life.
“So, this is where Jennie and Marie grew up,” I point out to my husband.
I recite the story in my head,
“Thomas X Smith was a hatter by trade near Bedforshire, England before chasing his faith and coming to America. When he told his parents of his plans to join the Mormon Sect, They set his trunk on the stoop and sent him on his way. Thomas set sell for America with his wife Margaret in 1853…”
To me Thomas is a bit understood. Not sure how I feel about the man who snatched my grandmother Annie as a “Young Bride.” Annie worked her whole life to care for her children and then cared for Margaret, Thomas’s 1st wife, on her deathbed as well. While I don’t understand Thomas, I admire the strength, faith, and courage which Annie had to possess.