John Todd was born in Ruledge, Vermont, into a family of several children. At a very early age, both of his parents died. One loving aunt said she would take little John. The aunt sent a horse and a servant, Caesar, to get John who was only six at that time.
On the way back, John asked, “Will she be there?”
“Oh, yes, she’ll be there waiting up for you.” Caesar replied.
And the conversation continued.
“Will I like living with her?”
“My son, you fall into good hands.”
“Will she love me?”
“Ah, she has a big heart.”
“Will I have my own room?”
“She’s got everything all set, son.”
“Do you think she’ll go to bed before we get there?”
“Oh, no! She’ll be sure to wait up for you. When we get out of these woods, you’ll see her candle in the window.”
As they neared the house, John saw a candle in the window and his aunt standing in the doorway. As he shyly approached the porch, she reached down, kissed him, and said, “Welcome home!”
John Todd grew up in his aunt’s home and later became a great minister. She was mother to him. She gave him a second home.
Years later his aunt wrote to tell John of her own impending death because of failing health. She wondered what would become of her. John wrote in reply.
My Dear Aunt,
Years ago, I left a house of death, not knowing where I was to go, whether it was the end of me. The ride was long, but the servant encouraged me. Finally I arrived to your embrace and a new home. I was expected; I felt safe. You did it all for me.
Now it’s your turn to go. I’m writing to let you know, someone is waiting up, your room is all ready, the light is on, the door is open, and you’re expected. I know. I once saw angel standing in your door way … long ago.