My Father's Mother
Mary Dean was proud of her sons. She had two little boys die to childhood illnesses that children recover from these days. But, she still had James, Oliver, and two-year-old Phillip. She was a fun loving, ambitious mother, often leaving the housework sit in order to enjoy life and teach her sons about the great wonderful, world beyond their small community of Kinzua, Pennsylvania. People marveled at her high energy and her ability to help and encourage others as well as raise her boys with integrity.
Springtime 1929, Mary wrote a letter to her friend Hazel who lived in Salamanca, NY about how much the rain had washed out the dirt roads, and how beautiful the heliotrope blooming. Mary also wasn’t feeling very good that spring. Suffering from her monthly cramps, she tried to ride the waves of pain, until it was realized that something more serious was happening.
Since the roads were impassable, Mary and her husband, Frank, took the train into Warren to get her to the hospital. Emergency surgery was performed first thing the following morning. They didn't do surgeries at night time back then. But, it was too late and too early. Too late, in that her appendix had already burst and infection had set in. Too early, in that Penicillin had not yet been invented. Jessie Mary Evans Deane died that day. I never met her, but I feel like she has been an ever constant presence in my life.