Saturday, November 9, 2013

The One Person We Forgot to Remember

File this one away as a postscript to a postscript. Sometimes, that is exactly what happens to the smallest, the youngest, the least significant—especially in the wake of great turmoil: they get forgotten.

We need to go back, sweep aside all the angst and drama and remind ourselves of a series of dates and events leading up to the point of John Brown’s death. Remember, it was April 22, 1897, when Emma Carle and John H. Brown were married in Logansport, Indiana. About three months later came John’s suicide on July 19, for which the four town newspapers erupted with three days run of reporting.

In the quiet following this tragedy, Emma Carle Brown gave birth to a son, whom she named Fred William Brown. Baptised February 20, 1898, Emma’s son most likely was born on January 29.

For those of you prone to whip out a calculator at the slightest provocation, you have probably already deduced that this new arrival in January, 1898, was indeed a son of the now-deceased John H. Brown. Not only that, but you most likely realize that his young mother was not only going through the trauma of the death of her husband that preceding July, but was also in the throes of morning sickness.

Whatever Emma lived through during that difficult time in July, her yet-unborn son was also living through with her. While no one was yet aware of his presence, in some way, he was very aware of the anguish occurring all around him.

We hold an unquestioned belief that what occurs to the people we are close to—those among our family and friends whose lives are intertwined with ours—has repercussions in our own lives, too. Understandably, what befell Emma Carle Brown that July day when her husband chose to end his life had repercussions in her life from that day forward.

What I can’t help but wonder is what impact that same event had on the one person of whom no one on that awful day was yet even aware.


  1. Are you going to tell us? I am sure people who lost a parent young, people who never knew their parent, people who were adopted all have questions that might never get answered. I imagine that a person whose parent was deeply troubled must wonder if they will be similarly plagued.

  2. The child must have wondered if he was the reason his Father couldn't go on. Sad:(

  3. I think the young ones are pretty resilient to start with - and for someone that "never knew" his biological father - it wouldn't cause that much "stress" or "strain" (the proper word eludes me).


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