Saturday, April 24, 2010
A Marriage Made in Heaven?
In 1870, April 24 was a Sunday. That was the day that Elizabeth Armitage and Henry Meinzen were married. I wonder if they attended church services and were married afterward. Or perhaps it was an evening wedding. No newspaper records the details of their wedding; no journal survives, if there ever was one; no family stories recount the occasion.
Elizabeth would not turn 18 for another 4 months. Henry was 32. When I first learned this information I was appalled. How could he?!!! Cradle robber!!! Perhaps I should still be appalled, but I'm not. I can't be as I learn bits and pieces of the life they lived together.
Was it a marriage made in heaven? I don't know. But I do know that the marriage survived the births of 15 children (and the deaths of 9); a number of Henry's career changes; at least 4 moves; Elizabeth's face cancer; and who knows what else.
In one of their children's birth records Henry used the endearment "Lizzie" when he gave the child's mother's name. Perhaps she had a pet name for him, too.
The marriage ended 50 years and 2 months after it began when Elizabeth died of cancer. A photo taken of Henry and the 6 surviving children after her passing seems evidence of the awful loss he felt.
Whether the marriage was made in heaven or not, I like to envision them together now, reminiscing and celebrating 140 years.
Happy Anniversary, Gramma Elizabeth and Grampa Henry.