St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Maggie's Story- Mother, Daughter, and Inspiration 136 Years After Death

The October 1872 obituary read; "Death, in whatever form it may come, or whatever may be its circumstances, is usually distressing in its character..........But a few minutes before her death she wrote the following lines, referring to her child, which had died a few days before."

"Up among the angels, That bright and happy band,
Our own dear babe has gone, To take its harp in hand.
Mother, brothers and sisters dear,
Weep not that she did leave you here;
She has gone to her home, gone to her rest,
Gone where the good alone are blest-
Home in Heaven. Jesus wept with sorrowing friends;
Jesus comforted their soul; Jesus died, He suffered pain,
He died that we might live again for all." -- Maggie

This obituary of Margaret Emma Simmons LEA was one of the many treasures found in her mother's, my great great grandparents', Bible. My heart weeps for Maggie and her loss. I can only imagine how thrilled she was when she married Cassius Monroe LEA (1846-1925) near the end of 1871. I can only imagine her happiness when she realized she was going to be a mother. I can only imagine her despair when the little infant girl died right after childbirth. I can only imagine her young husband's pain and his overwhelming grief when his beloved Maggie died a few days later. Her obituary goes on to relay she died of a broken heart.

I sit and look at the picture I have of Maggie and I cry for her. I mourn her loss and the loss of all the young mothers who also departed life after childbirth. I also admire Maggie's strength as she wrote a poem to comfort her family during her time of grief and rapidly failing health. Her belief was strong. Her belief was real. Her belief is inspirational.

So, sweet Maggie, my great great aunt, Happy Mother's Day. While you sleep peacefully in eternal rest, your words live on forever.

Because I am the story teller of my generation. I am the one who cherishes your memory as well as those of all my family members who have gone. I am the mother whose heart breaks for your loss- even though you've been gone 136 years.

Find those treasures. Honor thy mother. Honor a mother's memory.

Update:  10 Aug 2010-  The middle name for Cassius has now been confirmed as "Monroe" and was sent to me by the g-granddaughter of Mansfield B Lea, the brother of Cassius.  Thanks!

©2008-2010 AS Eldredge

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