My Grandmother should have five children. She has two. Living. My father is her firstborn. He was followed by Billy. Billy passed away, from what I understand, within twenty-four hours of his birth. The result of complications due to pneumonia.
This was in the late 40's. At that time new mothers were in for a long hospital stay. There were no private or even semi-private rooms. There were actual maternity wards. My Grandmother was left on that maternity ward. Surrounded by other Moms AND their babies. For ten days. While she mourned the loss of her son. Could anything be considered more cruel and unusual than that??
She said none of the other women spoke to her with the exception of one. That one, upon being discharged, asked my Grandmother if she would like to see her baby. No one else had thought to ask this question. While I, personally, couldn't have handled it my Grandmother welcomed it. It was the one small kindness afforded to her in those ten days. She never had another child in a hospital again. Her subsequent births were at home. I can't say I blame her.
Because she was in the hospital for ten days she missed Billy's service. She never laid eyes on Billy. She never held him. They didn't do that back in the day. So the only vision she has of her child is a picture that someone had the foresight to take of him the day of his funeral. To some that may sound morbid. I don't pass judgement. I have no idea, THANK GOD, what it's like to lose a child in such a way. I have no idea WHAT I'd do or HOW I'd handle it.
After Billy, if memory serves me correctly, my Aunt Liz came along. Healthy, happy, bundle of joy. (And a pip til' this day!) Then my Grandmother became pregnant with twins. The story I've been told goes like this...
She was seven months along. My Grandfather, a not nice man to put it mildly, pushed her down a set of stairs. Violently enough that it caused labor to start. She gave birth to twin girls at home that day. They died within minutes.
As if the push wasn't enough of an insult my Grandfather never told her where those babies were buried. Or IF they were buried at all. And, oddly enough, there are no records of their birth nor their death to my understanding. This is something I want to research though.
As I said, my Grandfather was not a nice man. I have very few memories of him because I was just 6 years old when he passed away. And I didn't learn the truth about him until I was much older. He was a cruel, sadistic, sick man who deserved to die the young death he did. Although it should have been a more painful death in my ever so humble opinion.
I have no doubt that, unless he begged forgiveness and regret at the moment before death, he resides in hell right now.