Saturday, May 29, 2010

Thinking of Salome

Ah, summertime. I love it; I love being outside soaking up the warmth after a long, hard winter! I also love working on my genealogy research and writing; however, I can't do both at the same time. I'd love to sit on my deck with my laptop - killing two birds... - but, since we were burglarized a few years ago losing two laps, I don't do that anymore. :-( I'll just do the best I can to enjoy both.

Lately, while I've been away from the computer, I've been thinking about Salome Siegler Ruch and how she might have felt upon giving birth to twins only months after arriving in a new country. She would turn 23 years old just days after the babies were born.

At first, I thought she probably felt a great homesickness for the family she'd left behind. She was suddenly with great responsibility and no one to advise or assist her. Perhaps she felt inadequate to the task at hand, even to the point of being overwhelmed.

But, then I started comparing my early marriage years to hers and my thoughts are changing. I was married on my 18th birthday (young, I know, but we're still together 48 years later. So there!!) and was not quite 19 when our first daughter was born. Younger than Salome by several years.

I left my family in Chicago to get married in Alaska - my husband was in the Air Force at the time. We lived there for about a year and a half. So, I was just as alone as Salome. I went through the whole pregnancy, birth and early child care with just my husband. And it was wonderful!!!

As much as having family nearby can be wonderful, having no family nearby has its merits as well. There was no one watching over our shoulders, no one making constant suggestions about how we should be doing things, no one to tell us the better way. We had each other and had to learn together - what a wonderful bonding experience.

Now, don't think we left the family completely out. There were plenty of letters exchanged - in which we told them what we wanted them to know - and there were lots and lots of pictures, especially once our little girl arrived. It's just that when advise comes in a letter it can be taken or tossed much easier than when it comes face to face.

Anyway, I've learned a lot about Salome over the past few years. I know she had to be a strong woman to have survived many of the events in her life - not the least of which was the Franco-Prussian war. I'm now inclined to think she was future minded or, at least, present minded and not likely to dwell on the past. She most likely took the birth of her twins in stride even though twins may have been a bit of a surprise.

1 comment:

  1. After reading your post I asked my mother in law how she survived her first year of marriage. She married in January, left Spain for New York City in February because my father in law was part of the Spanish delegation to the UN, and my husband was born in November. She said she had few friends those first years in New York, but those she did have were life long friends! I guess quality rules out over quanitity.

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