Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Search Engine (10/06/11)
TITLE: Double Rites
By Melinda Melton
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August 15, 1951
I have the most wonderful news. I’m expecting again! This will be my Seventh baby and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I can’t wait to tell Woody but I want to pick the perfect moment. I need to run now to tend to my brood of six. I love them so!
August 30, 1951
The drought continues it’s been over 100 days since our last rain fell. It’s hot and dusty and I’m fairly certain we will not have cotton again this year. Woody hasn’t been in the best of moods of late. I still haven’t told him about the baby. The time isn’t right.
September 20, 1951
Woody had to till the cotton under. We lost it all. Still no rain. It’s hot and the water well is drying up. How can I possibly tell him about the baby right now? I’m still getting sick in the mornings. I thank God for my girls Anna, Rebekah and my little Mary. They have been helpful with the chores. My boys Noah, Joseph and Matthew have been a great help to their father and tending to the animals. I’m blessed and I can’t wait to hold my new bundle of , Elizabeth Grace if it’s a girl and Mark Anthony if it’s a boy.
October 20, 1951
Thank the good Lord and praise His Holy Name! We got six inches of rain last night! Woody is so happy he is beside himself. He picked me up and twirled me in the air. We laughed like innocent teenagers. Tomorrow we are going for a Sunday drive, just the two of us. I’m going to tell him tomorrow about the baby. I wonder if he will agree to the names I picked out. I’ll let you know tomorrow!
That is where the diary ends. I’ve tried over the years to talk with my Mom, Mary, about her parents but all she will say is that they died and she and her brothers and sisters were raised by her grandparents.
My great grandparents already had twelve children of their own but took in their six grandkids when their daughter, my grandmother, Eva died.
Determined to find out more information, I sat at my computer and searched the Internet. I pull up my favorite search engine and begin typing in keywords: names, dates of birth, cities and counties and the date they died.
I signed up for a trial membership to Ancestry.com and begin searching through public records there and hit upon a newspaper article:
“Double Rites Set For Couple Killed in Crash
Oct. 24, 1951
Double funeral services for Mr. and Mrs. Woody Smith, Fieldton farm couple killed Sunday in a highway accident near Plains, are set for 2pm Wednesday at Southview Baptist church.
The Smiths were killed when the car in which they were driving apparently went out of control and overturned late Sunday night near Plains. Details of the fatal crash were not known.
The couple is survived by six children. They include three sons and three daughters”
I sit at my computer with tears streaming down my face. My heart is broken for my Mom. It all makes since now. I know now why she is so closed off from the world, why she has little contact with her family, why she refuses to drive on the highway, refuses to drive when it rains and the roads are wet.
I used to get so irritated with her for being so afraid to do things. I was furious with her for drinking too much and not being the mother I needed her to be.
I see her now through different eyes and I’m ashamed. From this point forward, I will have more patience with her and I will pray for her to heal. I pray that she finds peace.
Authors note: Everything but the diary entries are true. The pregnancy is also true. The newspaper article is from the Abilene Reporter News. Names and Town names have been changed.
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