How close I came to never being born, how stunning that in the span of a heartbeat, one life ended and sent another onto a different journey.
Genealogy can be very dry, very boring stuff. I’ve watched my children’s eyes glass over when I make a new discovery. It’s only when I put that discovery in perspective that they understand.
This is important, what I’m doing. It means something, if only to me.
So, in typical Sue-fashion, I’ll share that little discovery in the form of a story.
A preface; I’m sorry for the sadness, and I don’t mean to be morose, truly, it’s just so damned rotten that this had to happen…
Henry Lucius Ferry rubbed his face, trying to restore calm when all he really wanted to do was scream. To say it’d been a long, dreadful three days would be such an understatement as to cause a man to lose control. And control was all he had left.
Calamity had struck his new family. He watched his wife of one year, a lovely woman of but twenty-six, Blanche Adams struggle through every breath. He listened to each one and prayed it would be followed by another. Come morning of the third day, Henry sensed a shift in her spirit and had sent for the doctor once again.
Damn it, isn’t one death enough? He thought and stifled that scream. Lawrence, his child, had died in his arms. The infant would never grow up, never know his father or mother, never know how much he was loved. And Blanche, his Blanche, now lay struggling from exhaustion. The birth, it seemed, would cost another…
Henry turned at the sound of the door opening, grateful to see it was the doctor, hopeful the man would find a way to restore his wife, or at least bring comfort as she died.
This was Henry’s time of trial and one so many others had faced. So why did he feel so numb? And how would he carry on, alone, with promises unkept and memories not created?
She left him then, he sensed it. Heard that last breath and knew another would not follow. Perhaps losing Lawrence had been too large a shock.
Henry looked at his wife’s face, suddenly peaceful and sent a prayer windward:
May you hold our son,
know love and joy instead of this brutal heartache;
May the two of you suffer no more.
Here are just the facts as I learned only today:
Henry Lucius Ferry married Blanche D. Adams on June 1, 1909
Lawrence Ferry was born on December 14, 1910 and died December 14, 1910
Blanche Adams died on December 17, 1910 due to “exhaustion from prolonged labor”
After Blanche died, Henry married Mary Julia Blair, my grandmother and they bore eight children. One of them, the youngest, was my father, Henry Ferry.