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Mama Say She Had A Dream (Part III)

Mama Say She Had A Dream That The Baby Died (Part III)

Grandma laughed. But in a few seconds the baby commenced to breathing harder and in a minute he was gone.

We hollered. Oh! We hollered. Papa hollered just like a woman. He said, "My little boy. Got three little girls and I prayed for a little boy."

But Mama say she seed it in the dream before the baby was born that the baby died. It was born, but he died.

Mama 'nem carried on so they had a little wait. When some of your folks died they would have somebody to come in or either some of the family would wash your people up, put clothes on them and lay them out on something they called a cooling board. People would come, bring food and stuff--'cause you wasn't able to cook, you was crying and going on.

The house was so full me and my sisters--Scrap and Alean--we was up in the middle of the bed. I never will forget it. I can just see us laying there 'cause the house was so full. Folks was setting on the bed and standing everywhere for one little baby. But that's the way people was in them days.

Grandma dressed the little baby. Papa went and bought a casket and Grandpa picked him up and laid the baby in the casket. Some of 'em had already notified Old Nonconnah, the church we went to. So the next morning Papa and Mama hitched up the buggy and put the little casket cross of front of them in the buggy. They carried it on down to Old Nonconnah where they'd dug the little grave and they buried him.

After the baby died and was buried is when we moved into Johnson Sub. (The End)

The preceding was one of the many stories my MaDeah told me about our family. I've been pairing each of her stories with an essay of my own. In my essays I give detailed information that I've drawn from my genealogy research about the people and places mentioned. For instance, "Grandma and Grandpa" mentioned in the preceding had both been slaves. Grandma had given birth to 16 children herself, but had only seen 8 of them reach adulthood. Grandpa's pension papers from his service in the Confederate Army with his owner was one of my first genealogical finds!

I was fortunate in having a MaDeah who enjoyed telling stories and had an incredible memory for names. Not only did she know both of her grandparents, she even knew her grandmother's maiden name, and some of her great aunts.

There are a variety of ways to present the material we are all trying so desperately to collect and preserve. My way is just one.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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