Sometimes one witnesses something that purely and simply breaks your heart. For me, more often than not, it has to do with human suffering. While I try to keep most of my post light and fun, there are times, as Solomon said, for laughing and for weeping. I feel certain that David and Lizzie Bowman had plenty of the latter and maybe not very much of the former.
I shared an image before from Rose Hill Cemetery behind the Delta town of Antioch. There was coal mining in the hills and it was a tough life back in the mid-1800’s. One sometimes doesn’t realize how tough it was, and how far we’ve come, until you visit the cemetery and pay attention to the tombstones and the stories they tell. This particular tombstone especially told a story of incredible heartbreak.
I don’t know how many children Lizzie and David had in total, but we know that they lost at least three to death in their infancy:
Violette I. Bowman, aged 1 year and 3 months, died on 6/29/1870 (my birthday);
David Jr. died 2/3/1871, 1 month and 11 days
Charles N. died April 5, 1874 at the tender age of 1 year and 11 months
The epitaph, though worn, is readable:
“‘Tis hard to part with those we love;
To God thy meek smiles are gone.
Assured a brighter home than ours
In heaven is now thine own.”
The pain in the hearts of these parents is hinted at in the line: “Assured a brighter home than ours…” I would suspect that weeping was heard far more than laughter in their home over the period of years they grieved for these little ones.
Love those you have. You will not have them forever. You will weep for them and they will weep for you. Love truly and drink deeply from its cup!
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: drinking water after eating reduces the acid in your mouth by 61%, helping your teeth be healthier!