March 21 — Describe a tender moment one of your female ancestors shared with you or another family member.
Mary Elizabeth Faudree Bean
My paternal grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Faudree Bean, once shared a very sad, tender moment with me. It was a rare moment, as Grandma Bean didn’t speak a lot. She was a very quiet woman. And later she developed “hardening of the arteries”, which was then the layman’s term for Alzheimer’s, so moments of lucidity became few and, toward the end, far between.
In 1943 my grandparents had their last child. Little Roy Edwin Bean was a bright, blond haired, angelic baby.
Roy Edwin Bean [1943-1946]He was the youngest of fifteen children born to my grandpa, John Monroe Bean. And he was the child of his old age. [Grandpa was 77 when little Roy Edwin was born!] Of course, Grandma was 46! [He was her third baby.]
Unfortunately, at the age of only 3 years and 2 months, Roy Edwin developed a tummy ache. Being good parents, they tried to comfort the little fellow. But after a while, he cried with his tummy ache. Thinking he was probably in need of a “physic” [mountain term for a laxative], they gave the boy cod liver oil.
When a terribly high fever developed, they took him to the doctor. The boy was in obvious distress and he was rushed to the hospital.
Unfortunately, he had a burst appendix. He lingered for a few days, in terrible pain. And then he died.
I have always been told that Grandpa mourned exceptionally hard for this sweet little boy, whom everyone adored. But, Grandma, who was always so quiet, spoke of that terrible loss that one time to me.
She mourned the loss. But even more, she blamed herself for not realizing that the boy was in distress sooner. Tears rolled over her wrinkled cheeks and dripped down onto her dress front as she talked about the event.
I can remember cuddling close to her and telling her that I loved her. [I was probably about 10 years old at the time.] I remember distinctly her hugging me and saying, “And you and you sister are what makes it all worthwhile.”
I can’t help but tear up as I recall that day.
Grandma has been gone since 1975. And sometimes, I feel as though I could reach out and touch her. That’s how close she feels.
Today is one of those days.