Recently, I posted about a tragedy that happened to my family 50 years ago in St. Vincent. It brought up many memories in my family, and we've been discussing those times once again.
I learned, for instance, that there is much more to the story than what I originally knew, particularly concerning my Aunt Lena; an older cousin recently told me her memories of that time...
In a two year span Lena lost first her Dad, then the daughter [by drunk driver], then her Mom died, then the other two girls and her husband then her brother who was a night watchman was murdered...he didn't come home one morning and upon investigation they found him laying in a ditch murdered. Later, she married Harold who had a 9 yr. old son named John and when he was 21 he committed suicide.Lena's full name is Lena Rose Paul Fitzpatrick Nordstrom; Rose is her middle name, Paul is her maiden name, Fitzpatrick was her first marriage surname, and Nordstrom was her second marriage surname. If you know how to contact Lena, please let me know...
It was a terrible time. I can still see those white coffins. When Elaine was killed by that hit-and-run driver, Aunt Lena and Uncle John insisted on having the open coffin with Elaine in their living room for viewing. You had to go through the living room to get upstairs to the bedrooms. I can still see that beautiful girl laying there in that white coffin. There were roses filling the area and for years and years I could not stand roses and still have trouble today as every time I smell a rose I see Elaine laying there.
Then just 4 months later back for a triple funeral. Lena was Catholic but Uncle John wasn't so we had to go to his funeral at one church then go to the Catholic church after for Marlene and Alice. Lena was in the hospital from shock after the drownings and had been released just for the funerals. We were getting ready to go but Lena went into convulsions from all the pain and hurt and I believe had to go back into the hospital. I am not sure that she could even go to the funerals. I am not sure about that though but it seems she went right back into the hospital and didn't go to the funerals.
Many years later after having met and married Harold Nordstrom she got ill and went to the doctor for a check up. After a few tests the doctor asked her if she had suffered a great tragedy in her life so she told him of the past and he said he thought so as the muscles around her heart were like stone they were so hard.
She had one tragic life.