Just barely six o’clock in the morning (when I started this message). I was wide awake at 5:55 and hopped out of bed. How strange!! I usually hate to get out of bed because still so extremely tired. I’d been awake for awhile thanking God for my many blessings. This praise is especially poignant because I’m off “staycation” and “climbing the family tree.”
Yesterday, I encountered a situation that broke my heart–and now prompts my praise. I become “invested” in the families I’m documenting. The reader may get confused by this story but I’ll try to keep it simple. First: Why was the daughter with the grandparents in the 1920 and 1930 Federal Census? Her mother was alive according to 1920 Federal Census. “When in doubt, check it out.” I looked at the original 1920 Census record and “Lizzie” (mother) was an “inmate” at State Homeopathic Hospital for the Insane. In 1930 Census quite possibly the same facility but identified as Allentown State Hospital for the Insane. Likewise, the same hospital in 1940 Federal Census. She died at that facility, age forty-eight (in 1943). There’s more to the story, I’m sure, but few of us will ever know the details. “Reuben” and “Lizzie” were always listed as “married” (in Census) but never in the same household. How admirable: Reuben never divorced Lizzie, to remarry.
This is my third genealogy experience with women living in a mental institution. Here is one brief reference. (I document… but don’t keep a record so I can revisit the individual.)
“Yours truly” has been accused of being “crazy.” I confess to “marching to a different drummer.” I’m grateful for the freedom to express myself with the garden, “bottle trees,” genealogy, blog messages and the occasional story for Mennonite Family History. (Just last week I sent another story to MFH but don’t know how to attach here. My mental acuity is slipping [but I don’t need an institution].)