Sunday, May 9, 2010
Ragtown Mother's Day May 1931
Ragtown, near the Colorado River and Black Canyon, where the dam is starting to be built, has become too hot to be outside, yet too hot to go inside. A mother and her child's new dog briefly pose for a photo on a day like most others. Except this day a celebration will ensue at sundown.
The child's father is returning from the hospital. He's been there for two weeks, near death, diagnosed with what everyone says is pneumonia. However, he could be sick from something else; something no one is willing to speak of.
Working inside the diversion tunnels, the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning is high. It is a known truth, it's a risk that every worker faces, that every worker will try and forget about.
When her husband arrives he is too weak to even hold the dog, not to mention his child, too heavy for his arms. Yet he is alive. And mother and child (and now dog) are depending on him for their survival.
When they first arrived in Ragtown, they were without any other family, without insurance, without anything but what they could carry in their arms. No one thought their lives would turn like this. And now, for the first time, it's understood the importance and value of celebrations.
Even when staring death in the face, survival depends on resilience. It's true, they know, bouncing back from tragedy brings great joy and necessary hope.