Monday, Mar 23, 1885 As Mary was obliged to return on Tuesday I concluded to remain home until then. It is still very cold, only 4 above zero this morning at 8 oclock and it has been a snug winter day all day. Tom has his hot-bed started but is obliged to keep it covered up and I am afraid every thing in it will freeze. I wrote to Tom McEntee and to Alice. We sit with my father a good part of the time. We had a letter from Lucy saying they were to go to Fort Gaston but not until August and she hoped to come home meanwhile. I forgot to note that a telegram came from Charlie, Laura and Gertrude congratulating my father on his 85th birth day and Laura also wrote him and sent him a photograph of her little Mary. Mary, Sara and I talk most confidentially with each other and in this way are a great comfort to one another. We talked a great deal of the trouble which Joe is causing all of us and tried to be charitable and forbearing and are at one in our desire to retain the affection of Gussies children. Sara and Mary so loved Gertrude that it is an inexpressible comfort to talk of her with them. When I went to my room I took out a packet of her last letters and read some of them again to fill my soul again with the tender love which breathes in her every thought of me. How I longed for her tonight as I read from the lines her hands had written and which still live to me while she is no more. What a startling thought that always is to me that these frail things survive while the soul which informed them is beyond our reach and apparently touches us no more in this life. I say apparently for in all my intense love for her and my constant thoughts of her I get no response and cannot even dream of her when my last thought at night is of her and a prayer that her gentle spirit may visit me in my sleep. Dear, loving heart. Sad as my life is without her what would it be if I could not remember her as I do as my ideal of all that is lovely and noble and devoted in womanhood. The remembrance of her gentleness is a never failing source of rest and solace to me and the more I contemplate her life and character the more beautiful and admirable they seem.