© Bruce Goodman 25 April 2014
Jane’s husband had died when the sons were children. Now it was 1916. The three sons were fighting a war in Europe, but she didn’t know exactly where.
Jane was looking after son Richard’s farm. When her three sons left New Zealand for war overseas, she said she’d manage Richard’s farm. What a learning experience! She’d never milked a cow in her life. She’d never shorn a sheep or ploughed a field.
Then came the news of her first son to die, Henry. Jane was grief stricken, but went on farming Richard’s farm. Now she wore black.
Then came the news of her second son to die, George. Jane was grief stricken, but went on farming Richard’s farm. She would have the farm running well for him when he came home from war.
Then came the news of her third son to die, Richard. All children gone. There were no graves to visit – too far away and overseas; no funerals to attend.
Jane went out to milk the cow and feed the chickens. How still the summer morning. How long the days to come.