Saturday, December 5, 2009

packet, literate, watch

*I receive a thick packet from the National Archives.I had been cautioned that the process of finding the file I wanted, copying it and sending it might take 6 months but it has only been 6 weeks. When I open the envelope I am transported back to 1871 when ancestors filed legal papers to enable them to receive a pension of their son mortally wounded in the War of the Rebellion. I learn they could not read or write, they are destitute. Their son was their sole support. And I learn that Joseph was wounded in both knees at the Battle of Missionary Ridge in late November, 1863, and died in a field hospital in Chatanooga on December 13. To know what happened to him is a mother's relief.

*To be able to read and write, to have been taught as a young girl.

*I leave Zed's watch to be cleaned and repaired. "I will always take care of you" I whisper.

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