Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday

Pauline Bean
1902 - 1925

Pauline Bean was the third born child of John Monroe Bean and Blanche Uremia Crosier Bean.

During her pregnancy with Pauline, Blanche developed tuberculosis. She died less than four months after Pauline's birth. John was left with 3 small children to raise, the oldest being only 3 weeks from her sixth birthday. John made one of the hardest decisions of his life. He sent his baby to live with his brother, Sam, and his wife Mattie [Martha].

In 1907 John married Ada Burdette. And the children were reunited. John and Ada also began to have children together. But it was obvious something wasn't right with Pauline. She seemed sickly at times. At others, she was perfectly well!

Influenced by the great revivals running through the area, Pauline enrolled in God's Bible School in Cincinnatti, Ohio in 1922 at the age of 20. She attended until 1924 when illness forced her to withdraw.

Pauline's body became covered in huge boil-like lesions, as well as a deep-rattling cough consuming her energy and strength.

Pauline was so attached to her baby sister, Eloise, who was born in October 1923, that she'd lie with her, and sleep with her at night. She loved that baby so!

Unfortunately, Pauline's illness was discovered for its true nature too late. By the time it was diagnosed as tuberculosis, little Eloise had contracted it as well. She died on February 14, 1925. She is buried in the Carmel Cemetery in Gap Mills, West Virginia.

Pauline was devestated. Her body wracked with pain from the boils, she would lie and cry. Her step-mother, Ada, devestated with the loss of a son, Max, in 1923 from whooping cough, and now with the loss of little Eloise, had to set her own grief aside and care for Pauline. And she did so with such love and tenderness. I've been given accounts by several individuals, family and non-family members, of how Ada would take Pauline onto her lap as if she were a child and rock her like an infant, trying to soothe her pain and comfort her.

Pauline's suffering ended on June 27th, 1925, just four months after the loss of little Eloise. She was laid to rest right beside the baby sister she loved so much.

Pauline was my Dad's half-sister.

In 1929, just 5-days after giving birth to a baby boy, Ada died from toxemia. She and John had had 9 children together. John was once again left with a newborn infant, and other children dependent upon him. His baby boy was sent to Ada's sister and her husband to raise.

In 1935 John married Mary Faudree. My grandmother. She and John had 3 sons together, the oldest of which was my Dad.

Pauline was a special individual. One of those rare people who are not forgotten, and whose memory only enhances with time. Her family reveres that memory to this very day, even though there are only 2 family members left living who actually knew her. They were only 11 and 8 when she died.

Every year, Dad and I attend to Pauline's grave. We clean the stone, place flowers, and some kind of memento upon the grave. One year we put little porcelain dolls on Pauline and Eloise's grave. One year a resin cross.

It was Pauline's deepest desire to become a missionary, like cousin Georgie Bruffey Minter, who was an acclaimed China missionary. I often wonder if Pauline knows that she achieved her dream! She has been a missionary within her own family for many, many years now. Influencing lives for the good. Can any of us ask more from our own lives?

Pauline - 1922


Bruno and Cari said...

My heart just aches as I read about Pauline. What challenges which we cannot truly understand. It is reading stories like this that makes us count our blessings. There was a poem about someone who complained about thier life until they saw someone less fortunate and then said, "God, forgive me when I whine, I'm blessed indeed. The world is mine"

We know she is in a better place.

Thanks for sharing.

Mandy said...

How neat to see all of that in one place...just a reminder that you build your legacy life day-to-day! What a great story to preserve...I have her grade reports from Bible college and several pictures of her. What a blessing!