Saturday, February 2, 2013

And then...

Happiness and Ever After should be a requisite in unexpected love stories.

After Amy’s family forgave her, throwing a big reception for the wedded couple, things settled down.  Theodorus informed his family about the wedding, and they were thrilled.  A little shocked perhaps, but thrilled. 

Amy in her modern traveling suit

His parents set about building a new house on a portion of farm land they deeded to Theodorus and Amy.  For Amy, this was beyond her hopes.  Living in a town or city in a shared bedroom with her two sisters and supporting the family had been her future.  And now, Amy would have her own home, her own husband, and even farm land.

Theodorus traveled ahead of Amy, kissing her good-bye passionately at the train station in Detroit.  “Soon!” was the word they whispered.

He arrived and inspected the progress.  Like Amy, a house of his own had also been beyond his hopes.  He sent a telegraph, and she arrived within days.

Theodorus with Helen

That was 1919.  In 1920, a daughter Dorus Helen was born to them.  Life was wonderful.  Theodorus was president of the town’s bank; his parents were prosperous with ever increasing farm land.  In 1922, my father Louis Edmund was born.  In 1925, William was born. 

Helen and Louis "Bud"

Smiles on my grandmother’s face in old photos say everything:  Life is wonderful, Love is wonderful…

son Louis, Amy Peck, her mother-in-law Laura Peck, and  Theodorus with their new car

The Stock Market Crash of 1929 punctured the big balloon.  The bank was closed and land had to be sold.  But, still, Theodorus and Amy were together.

And, then…I hate those words.

Theodorus had never been a robust man like his two brothers.  Over the next two years, he began to grow more fragile.  He lived in constant pain, on aspirins.  Amy worried over him.  She unpacked her boxes of medical books and sought answers. 

In 1932, his doctor decided that Theodorus had to be admitted into a hospital. 

People seldom went to hospitals in a rural area.  Those who were admitted were suffering from serious life threatening issues.  This usually resulted in death.  Which is what happened.

Theodorus was taken by ambulance to a hospital over sixty miles away.  After his admission, plans were made for surgery, as a kidney tumor was suspected.  The night before the surgery, while Amy sat at his bedside, Theodorus suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage.  Death came quickly.

Amy L. Peck as a widow

Amy was about 40 years old, and the only love of her life was buried.  The next decade for Amy and her three children would be harsh.