Back to history...I've delayed this because as the story gets closer to me, I worry more about getting it right...I also know more and I don't want this to be a treatise on anything.
Here they are - one set of the great-grandparents on my father's side. I keep turning over in my head how it is that I seem to only hold on to the stories of select people in my family line. Why didn't I hear about the others? Or did I, and I just never fully took it in.
But, again, here they are: Peter and Elvina on their wedding day. Peter was from a large, prosperous farming family. Elvina...I don't know a lot about her, until recently I even thought her name was Marie. They only had one child, my paternal grandfather, and the account that my father wrote says that they were happy, even though they lived through tough times.
And they lived through some of the toughest of the last century...the first World War, the Depression which they managed to survive and hold the farm through, and the second World War. But I'm not sure how happy they were...something was definitely going on because Elvina took her life in 1945 in a particularly brutal way. The family history just says that she died, and that Peter mourned her loss, but suicide is never that simple. Certainly it wouldn't be for my grandmother (Elvina's daughter-in-law) who found her body nearly decapitated by chicken wire.
I've known these details since I was a child. I can tell them to you with little emotion - kind of matter of factly. I honestly don't know the impact that this has had on me, but I know I can never look at that wedding picture and not remember how it would all end. And that saddens me because for at least some brief time they seem to have been happy.