Every time I see a household in the census with extended family members residing in it, it gets me to thinking. [I know. Uh-oh.] If there was a nephew living in the household, I think, "Why? What happened? What's the story? I mean, I know there's a story there." How do I know? Well, I've lived that story.
Remember my younger brother [of my heart], Patrick, who was also one of my sister's children? And how the mitochondrial disorder that he was afflicted with and also eventually caused his early death was the same disorder that prevented my sister from raising and taking care of him in the first place? And how my parents took him in and raised him. Like their own. Like our own. And for all the trials, tribulations, and tears, I wouldn't have had it any other way. Because at the end of the day, I got a younger brother. One that I had wanted very much.
Well, my story isn't unlike other people's stories.
|Harvey "Harve" Lewis Pointer|
Some might call this a tragedy. But I don't think it qualifies as one. A speed bump on the road of life? Possibly. But I think a detour on the road of life is more accurate. Not sad or bad, but different.
You see, Harve still lived near his Pointer family ~ his father, brothers, and sisters. Harve didn't lose a family. He gained one. And I find it interesting that Harve didn't even use the Pointer name until he married Pearl in 1906. He called himself a "Belcher". That says a lot about his relationship with the Belcher family, I think. But, hey, don't take my word for it. Nothing tells a story better than a picture, right? Well, below are two pictures. The top one is Harve as an adult with his Pointer siblings. And the one below is Harve as an adult with his Belcher family.
|Daniel and Emma (Belcher) Pointer's children.|
|BLR: Minnie Etta Belcher, Harve Pointer, Effie Belcher; FLR: John & Mary (Shearer) Belcher|
And when I look into the eyes of Harve's Belcher sisters ~ Minnie Etta's and Effie's ~ I can honestly say I know a little something about how they felt. About what their life was like growing up with a younger brother of their hearts. And I also know it wasn't easy for either family ~ Pointer or Belcher ~ when Harve passed away prematurely at the age of 44 due to an accident. I know it wasn't easy.
Because you gotta remember. For all the forms, charts, dates, names, and numbers that we collect about them, our ancestors were just like us. Flesh and blood. With both good and bad things happening to them. They had decisions to make from choices they didn't like. They had things that they had to do when they didn't want to do them.
And just like them,
No matter how many lemons life serves us,
No matter how sour the situation is that we find ourselves in,
One fact remains the same that time cannot change.
We're just gonna add some sugar, water, and ice to those sour lemons and make sweet lemonade.