Second Harvest (Chapter Four, page 1 of 14)


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When Roy's family set roots in Arizona, his Grandfather William Folsom was thirty-two years old. His new bride Rebecca was just past her eighteenth birthday and pregnant with their first and only surviving child, Thaddeus. Slightly more than three years later, while attempting to give birth to her second child, Rebecca, and her stillborn fetus died in the middle of childbirth. Unfortunately, baby Clara arrived breech, with her feet escaping the womb first.

The situation was well beyond the skills of the midwife. Inexperienced and frightened, she hastened the delivery process and was aghast when she saw the umbilical cord wrapped tightly around the baby's neck and a deathly blue face. Her desperate attempts to save the child resulted in prematurely detaching the placenta, causing Rebecca to bleed internally. As Rebecca's life slowly trickled out, the horrified midwife helplessly watched as the bed clothes soaked to dark red. Realizing her mistake was now past the point of no return, the distraught midwife summoned William to his wife's bed. He immediately unleashed his fury, roughly tossing the midwife out of the room.

"What in God's creation have you done you stupid woman? Get the hell out of my house you old hag. Leave now and never let me lay eyes on you again, or I will choke the life right out of you! You've murdered my wife and child."

Roughly wrenching the midwife's arm she shrieked, but William dragged her to the front door and threw her off the porch. Then, dashing to his wife's side, William mournfully comforted his young wife. Rebecca fought the agony of death but eventually whispered, "love Thaddeus," with her last breath. After watching his young wife slip away, the grieving grief-stricken William determined to pour his remaining love into his young son, Thaddeus, despite the circumstances that bonded their tenuous relationship.

When he arrived in the Arizona Territory, he was in high spirits for a bright future. Unfortunately, the death of his young wife seemed to harden William so that his thoughts and actions concentrated on work, with little time for much else-certainly no room for laughter or play. Resolutely burying his grief, William worked tirelessly to establish roots in his homestead. Focused, William could ignore hunger or sleep and push his body to unspeakable limits for the laborious tasks he felt paramount. William's futile labors seemed to age the man well beyond his years. Heartbroken; his stooped shoulders leaned forward. Deep set lines wrinkled his face, and his hair turned a steely gray. The frown on William's face revealed the unspeakable emotional pain the man endured on a daily basis.

Young Thaddeus felt lost and spent far too many hours alone. William made sure his son was fed and cared for, but beyond the basic necessities, William could not find the emotional resources for his son. Thaddeus fended for himself watching his father through curious eyes. The solitude pushed Thaddeus to establish emotional relationships with folks from town. Many of the town women took pity on young Thaddeus offering to keep the boy, but William would have none of their nonsense. William insisted that Thaddeus was fine and he was capable of handling his own son. Nonetheless, folks in town constantly gossiped about the dire situation with the Folsom family.

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