Juliana sighed deeply and watched from her desk as the last of the visitors made their way through the gatehouse finally leaving as they did this time each day. Strangers in her house, how had it ever come to this she thought as she listened out of habit for the familiar footsteps of her husband. He moved so silently these days that he was able to slip up without warning surprising her even now as she still held the poem she had found tucked in a book in her private library.
His voice was full of memory as his eyes took in the faded sheet of paper she held and he said, ” My dear, you really shouldn’t bother yourself with my old ramblings, my heart was quite broken when you left me.”
Taking the hand he offered in hers, she stood and said, ” All those years together before the fire, we were so lucky weren’t we, Thomas? ”
” We still are my darling girl, we still are … ” His voice trailed off softly as he lifted her hand to his lips lingering just long enough to leave a gentle kiss that felt both fleeting and forever.
I found the poem above tucked in a book being sold with others in an area set aside in one of the old sections of stable at Lanhydrock. I took a photograph to remember it and put it back in the book for the next person to find. Seeing it in my photo files the other day made me think it might be useful in a post. While I don’t usually read romance novels, I am always intrigued by fiction that includes a bit of love and longing in the plot and it didn’t take long for an idea to come to me.
Having read about the fire that destroyed much of the house in 1881 and led to the death of Lady Robartes four days later, I couldn’t help thinking about forever love when I saw that her husband of more than forty years died less than a year later of what many said was a broken heart.
Lanhydrock is one of my favorite National Trust properties and I wanted to imagine more to their story than one that ended in death. We’re frequent visitors to the house and gardens and I never tire of walking up her stairs and down her hallways. Having created another ending for Lord and Lady Robartes, I wonder if I’ll hear his footsteps behind me the next time I’m there.