Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The past is not forgotten.

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"Warm summer sun shine kindly here, Warm southern wind blow softly here, Green sod above, lie light, lie light -- Good night, dear heart, Good night, good night." [

While searching through two photo albums from older times, I came across
this one which for some reason, today has had an effect on me, one that I
am unused to, it is hard to see to type when your eyes are full.

I have to pull out of this maudlin mood, there is a life story to tell here, one I will probably do badly, but I will try anyway.

This is the final resting place for a young girl, whose mother brought her out
to the west, hoping that the dry climate would have a beneficial effect upon her
health, as she was suffering from what they called, at the time, consumption.
After making the long and brutal journey from the east, they managed to end up in 29 Palms, California where the disease continued on its’ course, to the bitter end, breaking the mother’s heart into pieces in the process.

It was a different time, in those days just after the turn of the century. People
had tougher lives, some might say life was more brutish in many ways, but they had faith that things would work out for the best. That was probably the hope of the mother here; bring her sick girl out west, to the new land, and things would work out for the best.

But as with all of us, the Grim Reaper tapped her on the shoulder and it was time to embark on a new journey, one we will all make, some sooner rather than later, all ending up at the same final destination, but perhaps in not such as a beautiful and serene setting such as this.

This has been a sad story to tell. Unfortunately, when I took this and other photographs at the Oasis of Mara in 29 Palms years ago, I forgot to write down the grave inscription, and have been unable to remember it. The web was no help, either. So the story is told as I have remembered it. It was a story worth
telling, worth shouting it from the rooftops, even.

This young girl’s life had meaning. It is not the normal order of things for a mother to bury her child, it should be the other way around. She overcame a lot
of hardships in her short life, and just for that reason alone, should be remembered.

Little darling, you are remembered here out on the backporch.

Below the photo at the top of the page is a Mark Twain quote that seems appropriate which he took from a Robert Richardson poem “Annette” and used for his favorite daughter Susy’s epitaph when she passed away at age 24 from spinal meningitis.

Susy Clemens 1885 as a teenager.




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