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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Twin Sons are Born! Collect Prizes.

Marvin Andrew and Morris Frank Cass were born on Easter Sunday in 1905. Twin sons which, in "The Game of Life" would be good cause for celebration--two little blue pegs for your plastic car and cash prizes from all your opponents.  It's a big score.  In reality, it wasn't for Alice and Allen.  

Alice already had a perfect boy and a perfect girl---fat healthy babies who were thriving so it was quite a shock when the twins were born.  I don't know for sure which boy entered the world first but Marvin, likely the smaller of the two, was never sturdy and died by the end of May.  And, what would turn into a gruesome family story that we'd giggle at in horror, Alice and Allen decided in the likely event that Morris would soon die too,  put Marvin in the ice house to keep until they could bury them together.  The laugh, of course, was that Morris didn't die.  He was mentally retarded but he grew big and strong. He just didn't do it with his parents.

I can only imagine the family discussions that must swirled between the two Cass farms but it seemed in everyone's interest to let Morris be raised by his grandparents Frank and Nora.  Their younger son Rollie was only 14 years-old himself and he would be a good role model for his little nephew as he grew.  In fact, they were more like brothers as it happened.

Maybe they all agreed that a child anything less than perfect was too much of a burden on working farm.  Frank and Nora were in midlife but still quite able to raise a child.  In turn, Morris was adored and given all the attention he needed from his real siblings as well.

What must Alice have felt like?  She lost a baby and then she had one she must have thought she couldn't raise, why else would she relinquish him?  One thing I feel certain of is that people weren't "in their own heads" back then the way were are today.  They didn't seem to second guess or punish themselves for such difficult, heart rending decisions.  In fact, they got right back to the business at hand because Grandma Mabel was born the very next April--nearly one exact year after the twins. 

Alas, for all their diaries I have, I'll still never know what they really felt because emotions were not recorded nearly as much as the weather.


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