Saturday, May 25, 2013

 Threads of Life
Another entry for Wewriwa
May 25, 2013

I continue to write about the four children crossing the Atlantic Ocean on their way to uncles in Canada, being taken their by their grandmother, Caroline Freimann, after the last parent, their mother, had died.  This week I will write Ida's thoughts (second from the eldest.) She is 12 years old but listed as 8 on the ship manifest.

"Minna is still coughing and so sick. Gustav also is sick. They sound so much like Mama and I am afraid that they will die also before we reach our uncles' homes. Emma helps Grandma to take care of them just like she helped Mama so much when she was sick. We had some apples that we stuffed in our pockets before we left our home but mostly we have only dried bread and water. A couple of times someone has given us a sausage but most are just as poor as we are and guard their food supplies. The trip on the ship seems to take so long and sometimes the ship rolls so much on the waves that I am afraid. We all sleep together on one mat, lying close to each other."

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27 comments:

  1. Wow, that was like hearing a 12 year old talk. No wonder they though she was younger--being sickly. She was probably small for her age. Such a big burden on tiny shoulders. :-)

    Excellent excerpt, Carol! :-)

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    1. I am going to add the validation for my post. I am so honored to have you all back reading and commenting.

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  2. The poor child must be so scared going through so much as such a young age.
    She still sounds very brave telling her story.

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    1. Life was not easy for many of our ancestors. The fact that we are here is a tribute to their courage.

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  3. I enjoyed reading your * Carol. I found that I really felt for Ida. That would have been a frightening situation, losing her mother, hearing her siblings so ill and having no where to go to find food.

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    1. A lot of their lives was very difficult. Thanks for catching that.

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  4. So sad. TB? Ida comes through as a brave young girl, as a survivor.

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    1. Yes, mother and father died of consumption which I believe is TB. It makes sense that the two youngest have a case also for they would have been the ones carried by the sick parents. I have no proof that this is true of Gustav but I will post an addition to show why I think it is true of Minna.

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  5. Oh the poor child. What a dreadful time for her.

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    1. A lot of their lives was very difficult. Thanks for your empathy.

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    1. Indeed it was. Thanks for your understanding.

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  7. Awww, that's so sad. Those poor kids. I hope they make it there safe.

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    1. They do make it. I wish I had known about some of this when my grandmother was alive.

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  8. They lost their parents? How terrible! Those ship voyages were far from comfortable. You've conveyed the realities very well.

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    1. It is October 1902 when they are on the ship. Their father had died in 1895 and their mother in March of 1902. I do not know if their grandmother was with them when their mother died. She is now bringing them to Canada where two of her sons, brothers of the mother, are living.

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  9. Definitely a vivid, if sad, description, but you have to admire their perseverance, trying to get to a better place! You always put us right into the thoughts of the person - terrific snippet again!

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    1. Thank you Veronica. I am also feeling closer to them by writing about them.

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  10. You describe the sense of fear of loss very well... how her sibling's coughs sounds like mama's before she died. The picture that grabs my heart the most is all of them lying close to each other at night.

    I can't imagine what the story might be like if the Grandmother weren't so strong... it sounds like she is, and that makes me feel hopeful for the children!

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    1. You are right, Susan. A few years after bringing them to Canada, the grandmother goes back to get a new wife for one of her sons when his dies.

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  11. This just pulls on my heart strings. You are doing such a great job taking historical events and weaving them into a story we can feel. Excellent 8 as usual!

    History Sleuth's Milk Carton Murders

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  12. Great descriptive prose. Really gives you the sense of fear, not just in the voyage but the anxiety about the unknown future they are facing.

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  13. I meant to add this post script earlier. My grandmother, Minna, had pierced ears. I never saw her wear earrings and asked her about it once. She said they were not pierced for jewelry, but for health because she had a lot of earaches when she was young. It was thought that would help.

    In the 40's my grandmother was ill and having a hard time getting well. They did a mantoux test and found it positive. They also found one lung gone. They put her in a TB Sanatorium for a month, but then decided that this TB thing was old with her. Gustav died at age 19 supposedly from living in rough farm conditions, but maybe weakened by having had TB. It makes sense to me that the two youngest might have caught the TB from their parents, as they were the ones who would have been carried by an ill parent when they were very young. Minna was two when her father died, eight when her mother died.

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  14. Such a heart wrenching story of hardship. Those children were so brave! Very absorbing read.

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    1. Thanks Debbie. I don't think they had much choice. Simply surviving was asking a lot.

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