This one is for my Peeps


One hundred years ago this week, a humble family lived on a dairy farm in the woods and pastures of Maine and had a thanksgiving story to tell. That story has since been passed down to us year after year, and from generation to generation. Today, it will be told for the fifth generation (my grandchildren) to hear......enjoy!
Lucy had been ill for quite sometime, and although she had a large brood of children who were quite old enough to help around the house, and take care of the younger one's, it was decided the youngest four children would be watched over by friends and relatives. Isaac had a lot on his mind with Lucy's illness. Running the dairy and watching the children were better left to relatives.
Flora was round of face with apple blush cheeks, and blue eyes that peeked through the straw blond tendrills all over her head. An angel really, and a delight to be around. She was as happy as a goat to be able to spend this time with her favorite Aunt Winnie and Uncle, who had no children of their own. They doted on her every whim, as meager as it might be.
Just before Thanksgiving, Lucy began to regain her strength and decide to retrieve her children so the whole family would be together for the turkey feast. She was an ancestor of Pilgrim Edward Winslow and was proud of her Thanksgiving heritage, and she loved to have all her family near to her. That morning, she asked Isaac to ready her carriage, and to get Bob in his harness so she could make the trip to Winnie's house, because he wanted to be back before dark. Isaac watched rolled away, and he kept an ear open until he could no longer hear the bells on Bob's harness, and the sound of his hooves clippity clopping down the cart path got fainter and fainter.
It would be such a wonderful reunion to have Flora back in her arms and as Lucy got closer to Winnie's house she watched her little girl run down the path to greet her. Lucy was looking forward to be able to spend some time with Winnifred, and to catch up on what had transpired over the past few months. As the day wore on, Flora was torn to leave Winnie as it approached dusk. She had so many fun days there and would miss her Aunt terribly, but with a little coaxing from Winnifred and Lucy, Flora mounted the carriage to sit beside her mother and they began their travel home. It was already later for the return home then Lucy had wanted but, she started down the cart path anyway waving back at Winnie, and she was soon out of sight.
Isaac had begun to draw anxious as the light began to dim. His wife and daughter were still not home, but just as the worry began to overtake him he heard the hooves of Bob brushing the gravel beneath his hooves. He listened, but the familiar clack of the carriage wheels behind him were silent, and Bob came into the barnyard alone.
Isaac gathered up the oldest boys and raced the buckboard down the path and into the woods. There he saw the remains of the shattered carriage and Lucy and Flora deadly still on the side of the path. He rushed to his wife's side, she was unconscious and her head was covered in blood, and then he examined his faint daughter. Flora was weak and kept mumbling about a bear. He and the boys lifted the pair into the buckboard and raced back to the homestead where Dr. Pease had been alerted to join them. Isaac pulled his wife's large Sunday hat from the hook as he entered the house and covered her face so the little ones could not see her badly mauled face. Flora was placed in her bed where Dr. Pease took charge of her. She had several broken ribs that most likely pierced her lungs. He had the sad news of telling Isaac that she would not survive for more than a few hours. Lucy had three large gaping wounds that swiped across her forehead. She lie unconscious and unaware of what was transpiring around her. Flora passed away later that evening, and Isaac buried her in the family plot the next day.
As he sat vigil in the room with Lucy, he grieved and worried. Four days passed and Lucy awoke and began to relive the story of the accident.
While riding down the path, Bob suddenly became anxious and skittish. She tried to control the reins, but Bob reared up just when a bear cub dashed from the wood side and passed in front of him. When the cub scurried off to enter into the woods on the other side, Lucy got out of the carriage to steady Bob, and pulled him step by step ahead. Flora appeared beside her mother at some point, and then.....
Lucy never blamed the mother bear for the incident, because she said the bear was only protecting her young, just as any mother would do. Lucy only regretted not having the chance to say goodbye to Flora. Throughout her life she had three horizontal scars from the swipe of the bear claw that remained as a reminder of a mother's love.
Although the family had other hardships, with the loss of a child the next year to a burst appendix and then losing a perfectly healthy baby boy at a young age, Lucy went on to be a spiritual comfort in her church and a physical comfort caring for expectant mothers as a mid wife. She enjoyed the company of 14 children and many grandchildren and countless great grand children and so on. I am thankful for her stamina and courage and perseverance and although I was only present with her as a two year old I am blessed enough to have heard what a wonderful woman she was. I am also grateful and thankful that I live in a time where such hardships are not common place!
Happy Thanksgiving!



this is short story written by me form details gleaned from family oration and in published articles from 1911 Forest and Stream Magazine and 2010 Brockton Enterprise
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5 comments:

Dave said...

I've said it all before, you have a gift!! Who was Lucy?

Anonymous said...

I too have said what a wonderful story teller you are. Thanks again for a great one!!

Dan

Andrea L - EnchantINK said...

Wow! What a beautiful story. It is such a special thing to be able to share this with your children and grandchildren. Hugs xxaxx

Shelia said...

What a wonderfully beautiful and touching story. And so beautifully told. "A Mother's Love"

Debbie said...

Thanks for the recount of something I remember hearing when I was little. Only none of the details... just the fact that a bear killed a little girl... a relative from long ago... You brought Lucy to life for me, as I knew she held me as a newborn, and died shortly after... You made her a part of me now.
Your stories are beautiful, a reflection of yourself.
I love you... and these posts!