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"Pauline, in American terms, was a great failure: always poor, never married, living in a shabby small house when not installed in others' back rooms, worked as a domestic servant, formally uneducated, English spoken with the odd inflections of those who learn it as a second language, gawky and not physically beautiful, a badly trained musician whose performances would have caused laughter in the cities. She owned nothing valuable, traveled little, and died alone, the last of her family. If there were love affairs, no one will now know anything about them, and everyone involved is surely dead. Probably she died a virgin, the second most terrible fate, after dying broke, that can befall an American."
* The Failure of Music by Bill Holm
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|Marjie N||RE: A beautiful story|
I'm so glad you appreciated it. And thank you for taking a picture of the grave to complete the story for those of us who are far away!
Added by Marjie N on Feb 13, 2016 5:04 PM
|Marjie N||A beautiful story|
Thanks for your work in Fairhaven Cemetery. I thought you might be interested in a story that relates directly to one of the graves there-- for Guy O Munger (died 25 Nov 1889). It was Guy was my great uncle. This story was written by my great aunt:
A Beautiful Story
In the fall of 1889, disaster struck the little village of Fairhaven, MN; disaster in the form of diphtheria, the terrible severe form of diphtheria that used to be sometimes called “Black Death.” It struck in September just as school opened, and it spread throughout the community and raged all that fall. Hardly a home was left untouched, even the doctor’s home. In November, little Guy Munger, the beloved eight-year-old first son of the doctor was stricken.
The doctor was going almost day and night, fighting a losing battle, for although antitoxin was then known and beginning to be in use, there was none available in a little village as far off the beaten track as was Fairhaven. Without it, the disease was deadly. But there was no other doctor for miles around, and with so much sickness about, the doctor could hardly be at home at all. His mother came and kept house and took care of the younger children, Bethie and George, while his wife Kitty was quarantined upstairs with Guy.
The time came when they knew Guy could not get well. He was such a mature little fellow that his parents thought he should know, so the doctor sat down and talked it all over with him, telling him that Jesus wanted him to come and live with Him in heaven. At first, little Guy’s eyes filled with tears and he said “Oh, Papa, I don’t want to go away. Then you and mama won’t have your little boy and Bethie will be so lonely, and you’ll forget all about me!”
It was almost more than his papa and mama could bear, but they looked at each other and they said, “Oh, no, Guy dear, we’ll never forget you.” And then one of them said, “Well, suppose we do this. Suppose we promise you we’ll find another little child who hasn’t any father or mother, and bring this child home to take your place here with us and with Bethie. And then, every time we buy him a pair of shoes, or a book, or a toy, we’ll think of you, and think we’re really buying it for you.”
That satisfied the little fellow, and he was quite content then to go to live with Jesus. He told them who to give his little belongings to, and died content.
The doctor and his wife didn’t forget their promise. As soon as they could, they set things in motion to find a little eight-year-old child to take Guy’s place just as they said they would. They went or wrote to a Baptist Children’s Home in Minneapolis and laid their need before them and in due time the Home had a little girl for them. I think the sorrowing parents found it a little easier to take a little girl in Guy’s place than they would have a little boy. But so it was that they brought Christine home and legally adopted her and did everything for her that they would have done for Guy.
And Christine did fit into the family and fill a real need … for a companion for Bethie who was so lonely for her big brother, as well as for comfort for the doctor and Kitty. And as the years passed, she became an increasing comfort and a joy in her own right.
A Sequel to the Beautiful Story
This is the story of a little green grave that had … well, care that was perpetual for a lifetime, anyway.
Long years after the Mungers had moved from Fairhaven, when little George was a grown man with a family of his own, he passed near to Fairhaven on business one day and decided to drive around that way to see what he could remember of the village he had left when he was six years old.
He found the old home gone, burned to the ground years before and nothing built in its place. But the old barn was there and the lilacs in the front yard, now overrun with tall grass weeds. And the elm tree that had stood near the back door was there, only much, much bigger and taller.
Then he went down the street and found the same little church where he had gone to Sunday School, and the pew where the Mungers had sat. Then he went out into the cemetery to see if he could find his brother Guy’s little grave.
It was August of a hot, dry summer and most of the little cemetery was quite burned and brown. There were a few green spots, however, where people had watered and kept things up. And to George’s surprise, he found the two little Munger graves, Guy’s and baby Lois’s, as green and fresh as could be. He wondered and wondered how this could be. And turned away still wondering.
Now in such a little village, any stranger is noticed. As he went down the street a woman came out from one of the houses and looking sharply at him, said, “Could you be the son of Dr. Munger?” (George looked very much like his father.)
George said, “Yes I am. I’m George Munger.”
The woman fairly fell on him, and said, “So you’re the little fellow with the big brown eyes who used to swing on the gate.”
Then she told him who she was, and he remembered hearing his folks speak about her but I do not recall her name. And George said, “Yes, I’ve been looking around at the old place and up at the cemetery. By the way, could you tell me who’s been taking care of our graves up there?
The woman smiled and her eyes filled with tears as she told George yes, she could tell him. It was she and her husband who did it. And then she explained why.
On the night Guy died, she told George, her baby came. They had called the doctor not knowing his little son was so near death; but what else could they have done anyway, with no other doctor within twenty five miles? The doctor had come, for he knew there was nothing more he could do for his little son, but he had had to leave his wife all alone with their dying child. Thanks to him, the new baby came safely, though there were some complications that made it touch and go for a while. And how grateful those parents were when they knew what the doctor had done for them. So they had always wanted to do something special for the doctor and his wife to show their gratitude. When the Mungers moved away, they saw their chance. They promised that as long as they lived they would take care of Guy’s grave and that of his little sister’s, with the same loving care as if it were their own children.
And that was how it happened that Guy’s grave had perpetual care.
George was my grandfather who died before I was born. It looks like from the picture you took that Guy's grave is well tended, although probably not by this family after all these years! I though you might enjoy this story as a little reward for all the work you do for Find a Grave.
State College, PA
Added by Marjie N on Feb 13, 2016 7:38 AM