Monday, December 21, 2015

A Ghost from Homeville, Virginia Visits Santa Fe!

Ghosts wandered about in my childhood home in Homeville, Virginia.  The most talked about was Miss Rosa.
Miss Rosa Thornton Briggs, on of three wives of the family patriarch, Dr. Henry Caroline Briggs, was buried here, in a cemetery directly behind the big house.   She was the last of Dr. Briggs' wives -- the first two died in childbirth.  In life, she was said to be very protective of the family and of their reputation.  

My grandmother never knew Miss Rosa, but she knew the maids who had helped maintain the household in those days.  One maid in particular, a favorite of Miss Rosa, saw her rocking in the front hall for the first time when one of the children was gravely ill.  Miss Rosa particularly worried over children, as many of the small children in her day died of whooping cough and there was no vaccine. 

The maid walked out into the front entrance hall and noticed the old wooden rocking chair moving, looking closer, she clearly saw the figure of Miss Rosa rocking there, holding an infant in her arms.  On another occasion, the maid saw Miss Rosa rocking alone when one of the children were ill.

For myself, I never actually saw the figure of Miss Rosa, but when I descended he stairs in the front hall one morning after my mother died, I clearly saw the rocker going back and forth, but the house was empty except for my father, who was in the kitchen at the back of the house.

Then, once, when I was much older and living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I was packing up to move me and my children. I was getting over a very difficult divorce.  As I packed the last box and looked out onto the front porch of my own home, where an iron rocker waited for the movers. I clearly saw the chair going back and forth, as though someone were seated in it, rocking.  I saw no figure, but I clearly felt the presence of Miss Rosa, who was concerned for me and my children.  

Say what you like, I believe she was there!  And that's how it is in Mysterious New Mexico.