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Sunday, 2 March 2014


 On Saturday, we had a family celebration of Caitlin's first birthday. It was a fun party for a sweet little girl. Then on Sunday, Ben looked after the kids while Claire worked. Part way through the day she phoned to say that she had come down with the flu and had to come home early. She couldn't drive herself so we assisted her. By the time we got her home, Ben and Caitlin had it too. Rick and I stayed overnight to take care of the girls if they awakened. Ben and Claire were deathly sick. Meanwhile, Rick and I wonder when we will get it. It seems inevitable.

This past few weeks I've worked on my grandfather Pretty's story; a story of tragedy, with his parents and four of the eight children dying from tuberculosis. One of the boys died, then the father, mother and the other three children. Tuberculosis was so contagious and often passed through a family. While Rick and I wait for the flu, they waited for tuberculosis. What must that have been like? How did three of them escape the bacteria? As each got sick in turn, did any of the remaining family members question whether to care of the afflicted person? Did the three surviving boys remember any good times before all the sickness? 

So many thoughts about events of one hundred years ago run through my head. The fact that any of my grandfather's family survived is incredible in itself. How had that experience impacted their lives? My grandfather didn't talk about it. You know what they say about still waters.....


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