Once upon a lifetime on 5 December 1949, an overcast day greeted the residents of Arlington, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C. A young couple was awaiting the birth of their first child. The couple was not living near relatives as these parts of the family lived 150 miles to 1,300 miles away so there was no one to help with the newborn. When would the child be born? Soon, they would be entrusted with a new life arriving in this world.
On that same day, a chill in the air greeted the residents of Alton, Kansas. A farm couple was awaiting the birth of their first grandchild in faraway Virginia. The couple vacillated between joy and grief. The wife had much on her mind because she was caring for her elderly father, who suffered from chronic kidney failure. He was in a coma. The couple was entrusted with a loved one departing from this life.
News from both couples would come by telephone…asking an operator for long distance and reciting a phone number…waiting for the rings and answers…sharing the news. The first call would be placed on the morning of 6 December from the new father to the new grandparents. Baby girl Mary Anne (named after her grandmothers) had been born at 2:17 a.m. The new mother would call her parents when she arrived home with the infant a week later…telephones were not available for patient use in the maternity ward. Some of the questions would have to wait. Maybe the new mom would be able to write her parents a letter as she recuperated in the hospital. Meanwhile, the child rested in the arms of her mother and father.
The next day 7 December, the grandparents called the new father with the news that the baby’s great grandfather had passed from this life. Some of the details of the funeral would come by letter. Meanwhile, the great grandfather was resting in the arms of his Father.
Footnote: My great grandfather, Lafayette Edward Boultinghouse, died the day after I was born. I have learned about him from family stories, pictures, and newspaper articles. Sadly, he never held me in his arms.