Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Commonplace Book: Across Five Aprils....

Jethro was her youngest child, born in the year of '52, a year in which three of her children died within one week of the dreaded disease they called child's paralysis, a disease which struck the country that year, people said, like the soldiers of Herod.  Ellen knew that she favored her youngest son, that she overlooked shortcomings in Jethro for which her older children had been punished.  It was a weakness of her advancing years, she supposed, but this was the son who had been spared that summer when children all around were dying of the agonizing sickness; it looked as if, somehow, Destiny had marked him.  One didn't talk about such things; the world, she knew, was impatient with women who value their own children too highly.  Ellen kept her silence, but she saw signs of special talents in Jethro, and she watched over him with special tenderness.  - Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt


  1. We read 'I Can Jump Puddles' earlier this year which was the true story of a boy who contracted infantile paralysis in the 1900's here in Australia. I'ts shocking to think that so many families lost their children to diseases we rarely see now - it wasn't that long ago.

  2. Yes Carol, you are absolutely right. It wasn't that long ago! My grandmother was born in 1919. I can't believe the things that have changed just in her lifetime. My kids think it's crazy that I remember life without a computer, microwave, or VCR/DVD players. I'm not even half my grandmother's age, but things have changed tremendously regarding technology in my lifetime.

    The book you mentioned sounds excellent! Thanks for sharing, Melissa