Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Aware Too Late

By Victor Knowles

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) loved his wife. She loved to help her husband in his writing career. But she became ill with cancer and was confined to bed. Though he loved her dearly, Carlyle was so busy writing that he rarely found time to stay at her bedside.

The day of her burial it rained and the mud was deep. After the funeral, Carlyle returned home, deeply shaken. He went into his wife's bedroom, sat down on a chair beside her bed, realizing he had not spent enough time with her in her illness.

From the bedside table he picked up her diary and began to read. One line smote his heart: "Yesterday he spent an hour with me and it was like being in heaven. I love his so." He turned the page and this time his heart was broken, for she had written, "I have listened all day to hear his steps in the hall, but now it is late and I guess he won't come today."

Carlyle threw the diary to the floor and rushed back to the cemetery in the rain. Friends found him face down in the mud at the newly made grace. He was weeping, saying over and over, "If I had only known!  If I had only known!"


Pulpit Helps
, date unknown.

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