Thursday, March 30, 2017

Heartbreak and Joy

My family history research lately has been descendancy research.  I come across little Marie Anna Pintal yesterday while researching a 3rd cousin of mine.  She died at age 1 month due to spina bifida.  I was shocked to see those words spina bifida on an 1889 death record!! What mixed emotions I felt!  I am so sad for this family. I am just heartbroken especially for her mama.  There was no treatment available for spina bifida back then, no surgery, no antibiotics to be prevent infection.  Mostly likely Anna suffered a slow and difficult death. I wonder if her mom got to hold her and nurse her.  I wonder if little Anna had hydrocephalus also.  I hope her passing was peaceful and not painful.

On the other side, I feel joy.  Joy because when I heard the words spina bifida as a diagnosis for my son, I lived in a day and age of the miracle of modern medicine.  Without surgery when he was infant Evan would NOT have lived very long, just like little Marie Anna,  I feel Joy, because I was able to spend time with Evan today and watch him enjoy the great outdoors on his handcycle.   He lives a full and busy life and is a just a delight!  We are very blessed!

Rolling on the Bob Jones Bike Trail

I also feel joy for the Pintal family. Gideon and Emmerance had 15 children. Some died young, some lived long lives, some I don't know how long they lived. However, I know that they can be a forever family.  And, what great joy they will feel to be together again!!

Source:  "Massachusetts Deaths, 1841-1915," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 10 December 2014), Marie A. Pintal, 23 Jan 1889; citing Lowell, Massachusetts, v 401 p 121, State Archives, Boston; FHL microfilm 960,241.

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