tragic loss

Lydia Quackenbush Potts SpencerLife is filled with unknowns. Things change everyday…sometimes quite drastically. On January 13, 1883, life for my Great Great Grandmother Spencer, would change forever, when her husband, my Great Great Grandfather Spencer passed away, and she had to make the difficult decision to spread her family among her relatives, not knowing if she would ever see some of them again, much less get to meet her grandchildren. But, just as the tragic loss of her husband changed her life forever, so would the return of her children and their children.

Healing can take place in many ways. It may not feel completely like healing when you are still grieving for your husband, but babies can change your whole view of life, and for a grandmother, they can be like a new lease on life. For my great great grandmother, I think that is exactly what happened. Her daughter Teressa, who had gone to Rushville, Nebraska, while her mother and two brothers had gone to Oklahoma, her older sister had taken another brother to Washington state, and her older brother was living in Wisconsin with his family, soon married and started a family of her own. Teressa and her husband, Martin Luther Cox, would go on to raise nine children on their ranch near Rushville, Nebraska. Nine babies over the years…that had to be a Lydia Spencer, and daughter Teressa's familyreally wonderful blessing for her grandmother’s heart. Those babies could never replace the husband she had lost, but she could rejoice in them…even while she was wishing that her husband could have been there to see it too.

That life change that had torn the family apart, still held a deep feeling of sadness for my great great grandmother, but she knew that her life was not over, even though it may have felt like it at the time of my great great grandfather’s passing. But God had a different plan for her life. She would never marry again, but her life would be filled with the joys of family. She lived out her years in the home of her son Luther’s family, and got to be around those grandchildren all the time. She received visits, and I’m sure went on visits to her other children and those grandchildren, and in the end, her life was renewed with joy again.

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