Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Our thoughts are in Chile today as we wait for the rescue of the trapped coal miners, not knowing what illnesses, psychological and physical, they will bring out of that mine.
My great great grandfather was a coal miner in Wales. He came to Philly and met my great great grandmother (Ellen Jane Stewart), a lace-maker who'd recently come from County Derry in Ireland to escape the potato famine (circa 1870).
They had two boys, but Tom died of black lung disease when they were both under ten. My great great grandmother had to place them in a school, Girard College, where they spent the rest of their youth. She only got to visit them on Sundays, but the school gave them a good start--so that part of their story is not a tragedy.
I never met this man, of course, but I have thought of him often--Thomas Morrison. No one should die of a disease like that in their thirties. Nor on any day. I pray for these men today.
Any children of coal miners out there?