Helen Adelaide Burg Reynolds 1908-1939
Grandma Adelaide was the grandmother I never knew. She died long before I was born, in fact, 21 years before I was born. You know, that doesn’t seem very long now that I think of it, having missed her by 21 years.
It was only recently, my Aunt Chris found a box, that had sat hidden in a basement corner for about 37 years….since they moved to that new home at the time. In the box were some pictures she had not seen in ages…that I had never seen. And a chronicle of how Grandma had passed away, leaving three young sons and husband, all too soon. Sadly, if antibiotics had been available, she may have lived to see me, her first granddaughter, and been a wonderful mother-in-law to my mother, .
And so it that Adelaide, after having three young sons, ages 10, 6, and 3, passed away in Milwaukee County General Hospital at the young age of 31, due to the complications of a mastoidectomy. A long painful 6 month ordeal, during that time, she was present at home just a couple times, for a couple weeks at a time. Admitted at first in May of 1939, and then in an emergency situation in November just a few days after her wedding anniversary for further emergency surgery, where she fell into a coma and died a day later.
I had so many questions growing up about this grandmother. It took me to age 53, to even have any of this knowledge and see this wonderful front facial photo of her. Oh how much my dad looked like his mother! How sad she was lost to a massive spreading infection, that they did numerous surgeries on to eradicate. And only a mere year or two later, penicillin was discovered!
Her story was all too painful for my father, 6 at the time, to ever discuss, pretty much his whole life. God bless his pained soul as he didn’t want to even see any pictures of her. He died a few days before his 71st birthday, with that hole still in his heart for his mother. I know they are both at peace.
I know grandma is a great intercessor in heaven for us also. She, like myself, had three sons, all of which have gone to spend eternity with her now.
There isn’t a day that doesn’t pass that I don’t fondly think of her, and of course my own father, with so much love and appreciation.
With having found this box with photos and paper clippings, I also now know the name of the church and grade school my father attended, (Holy Assumption in West Allis WI), and the name of the grade school grandma Adelaide attended, St. Sebastians, in Milwaukee. So many questions answered. By just one box.
I wish for you such a box in your life. God bless+