|Mary Toonen (Center) with her sisters.|
I never knew grandma, as she passed a few years before I was born. What I know of her story is amazing. I can't imagine leaving her parents and some of her siblings behind at such a young age, knowing she would never return or see them again. There must have been some real heart break and lots of tears at the dock as the ship left the harbor for America.
|Their wedding |
Doesn't it seem odd that the wedding attire was black or darker colors? So unlike today.
Grandma had two daughters; Minnie and my mom - Cecilia, and four sons, Martin, Joe, Frank, and Norbert.
Grandma became a widow when my mom was about four years old. As my mom told the story: it was a very hot humid Wisconsin day and Grandpa was working the fields. My grandmother thought it would be nice to take him a cold bucket of drinking water. She filled a pail from the well to bring to him. Shortly after drinking the pail of ice cold water, he became very ill and died that night with no apparent symptoms. Looking back and using today's medical knowledge, he probably was overheated and dehydrating, drinking the cold well water put his system in shock and death.
So many times, Mom would recall how she had to stay home from the funeral because her family thought she was too young to attend. During that era, it was tradition to hang black wreaths on the doors of the home of the deceased. The black wreath really left an impression with my mother. She would never allow a wreath of any sort to be hung on a door, not even a Christmas Wreath. It just reminded her of her dad's untimely death.
And that's the way it is...............