Friday, April 17, 2009

A Tragic Loss Echoes a Family Tragedy

The Washington Post reports a tragedy for a family here in Michigan:

An Ottawa County family lost a four year old boy in an accident four years ago. Apparently he fell out of a window.

Two days ago the same family lost another boy, aged 2, falling out of the same window.

That is not as unusual as it sounds.

In my father's family, in the 1890s, our family lost two little boys in a similar scenario. Both fell in accidents at school while carrying sharpened pencils in their mouths--the falls resulted in the pencils going through the roofs of their mouths and piercing the brain case. Medical technology of the time could not cope.

The second accident happened exactly a year after the first.

They were, according to the family tree, my great-uncles, older brothers of my Grandmother Kent, nee' O'Brien. The boys' last name was also O'Brien.

I understand their deaths were cautionary tales in Catholic schools in the Detroit area for decades afterwards. (My mother heard of them far before she met my father.)

Eternal rest grant the LaMadline boys, and may their family cope with the loss.

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Keep it clean for gene.