Over the past week, I've been studying the life of my Great-Grandmother, Anna Caroline Wintsch Muhlestein.
Our family has copies of a few pages of her life story that she wrote in later life. I assume that this came from her "Autobiographical sketch, 166-68, in Histories and biographies written by members of Camp Sunflower, Daughters of Utah Pioneers of Center Utah County, Provo, Utah, vol. 1." (available at the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah). (See this link.)
Another version of the story was posted on the Internet in 1999 by, presumably, one of my fourth cousins. I found this while waiting for Andrew to bring me a paper copy of the story that has been in our family for years.
Even though I had read both of these stories before, a funny thing happened while I was reading the story out loud to Sara.
Warning: plot spoiler follows. If you want to read the story yourself first, you ought to do so right now, before reading on in this blog.
You've been warned.
I was reading along, just past the point where Anna's older brother Jacob, dies and is buried in Florence, Nebraska. Then, as I got to the point where Anna's mother unexpectedly dies after saying goodbye to her children, I got all choked up. I even cried out, "No! I don't want this to happen." Sara and I were both crying, to learn of the mother's death.
The strange thing is, she actually died long before either of us was born. And, I had even read the story before. What a strange reaction.
Empathy, I suppose, for Anna, her brother and sister, and especially her father, who had lost his father, a brother, two step-fathers and several step-siblings, his mother, his oldest son, his first wife, twin baby boys, and a grandson by that point in time.
Time is a strange thing.
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