An Auntie for the Second Time

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:

Wednesday, May 20, 1914:  This afternoon I learned that I am an “auntie” for the second time. It is a little baby girl. Mingled with this new joy is a dim foreboding.

Besse (Muffly) Hester
Besse (Muffly) Hester (circa 1912)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma—

Wow. . . Congratulations on being an auntie once again!

. . . but this has taken us by surprise. . . Why didn’t you ever mention in the diary that your married sister Besse was pregnant?

I understand your sense of foreboding. This is what you wrote in 1912 when Besse had her first baby:

I was an aunt for one brief half a day yesterday, but didn’t know it until this morning. I was so disappointed when I heard it was dead. My little nephew was buried this afternoon. The baby I never saw. I feel like crying, when I think I am an aunt no longer.

April 9, 1912

19 thoughts on “An Auntie for the Second Time

  1. Social taboos of the time may have kept her from writing about it, especially given that her sister lost the last one…Once Upon a Time, no one would even mention a pregnancy, like there was something ‘dirty’ about it. Thank goodness we’ve gotten over that!

    Hope it turned-out happy this time :)

  2. Aw…..evidently I wasn’t reading your blog when Grandma’s sister lost the first baby. Certainly hoping that everything will be/was okay with this baby girl!

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