This is the tombstone for my Great Uncle, Theodore Pacheco a.k.a. Ted P. Smith, and his first wife, Angie (Margie) Smith. The couple is buried at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Oakland, California.
Theodore was the son of Theodoro Pacheco and Maria de Braga. He was born in Kilauea on 12 Mar 1901. He migrated with his parents to Oakland, California about 6 years later. Somewhere along the way he acquied the nickname “Kid Cyclone”.
Angie was the daughter of Antone Margie and Rose Joseph. Interestingly, her Italian parents also went to Hawaii, where Angie was born in 1904. I’ve yet to root out her parents immigration story. The Margie’s ended up in Oakland by 1910, living on Highland Avenue.
The couple started off 1924 with a bang. They were married on January 1st of that year!
The couple’s happiness would not be long lived. As you can see from the stone, Angie died in 1927. She was only 23 years old. She died of toxemia of pregnancy on the 5th of August 1927. They barely had three years together.
Theodore got is life together quickly, but perhaps too quickly. He remarried to Madeline Algrava, the daughter of his cousin, in 1928. This marriage would also be short lived, but because of a different reason. As a family member put it, Theodore had never really gotten over Angie’s death. For whatever reason, he started drinking and he took out his grief on Madeline. He treated Madeline bad, making her life miserable. The young bride who was only about 22 left him. The couple divorced sometime around 1931.
Madeline remarried and left the state. Theodore stayed in Oakland but never remarried. He died in 1960 at the age of 59.
I think the stone says it all. Theodore didn’t really have much money, but he bought this stone, and he emblazoned upon it “To My Dear Wife”. It appears he never really did get over Angie. The tragedy is that he married the second time, making that poor woman’s life miserable because he was miserable.
I hope Madeline was able to find happiness and that Theodore found some measure of serenity as he aged. Some of the stories we learn aren’t all that happy.
When I moved my blog to the new domain name, I also upgraded WordPress. I didn’t realize it but some of the setting were different that the previous version.
For some reason, this blog was set to require registration in order to leave comments. Once I realized that’s what was going on, I couldn’t figure out where to change it.
I have finally shut that feature off. Now when someone wants to leave a comment they can do so without registration. All comments will be approved before posting to weed out the spam.
Sorry for the confusion!
[The 13th Edition of Smile for the Camera Carnival theme is All Creatures Great and Small--The Family Pets. Get ready to meet my three legged wonder dog, Sierra...]
My brother gave us Sierra as a gift. She was a wobbly legged flat faced 8 week old Lab/Golden Mix pup. She cracked us up as she slid across the linoleum. I think it took about 10 seconds before I was in love.
The first year was a challenge, to put it mildly. She was a wild one and got into trouble on a daily basis. She dug holes, she chewed on furniture, jumped all over people, and she stole anything within her reach. At 6 months things got worse as she became aggressive. It’s pretty bad when your dog training teacher has to pull you aside to tell you your dog is out of control.
I was determined that I wouldn’t have a dog people were afraid of. I was persistent and Sierra was a quick learner. By the time she turned 3, she because one of those lovable Labs you see on TV. She lost her aggression. She developed the sweetest personality. She enjoyed being with people, loved being around kids, and would tolerate pretty much anything for a treat. She would still attempt to steal food from your plate, but she was getting better. In fact, she leaned towards the lazy side preferring her favorite sunspot to playing fetch.
Over the years, Sierra has been my constant companion. When I developed a debilitating form of arthritis, Sierra seemed to know my limitations. I often remarked at how she knew that she needed to be gentle around me. When we took walks, she slowed her pace for my benefit. She enjoyed sitting on the bed with me, but she was careful not to touch my feet which were very sensitive. On my worst days, she’d come over and lay her head gently on my legs letting me know she was there.
Three years ago, it was my turn to return the favor. She developed a tumor on her leg which was tested and determined to be a fatty tissue lump. But in February of 2006, that tumor ruptured and I learned that Sierra had cancer. Two weeks later the situation became dire. She was losing alot of blood and having bandages changed daily. We had two choices: put her to sleep or amputate her leg.
One morning she didn’t want to get up for breakfast and I knew we were running out of time. I called my Vet, took her right in, and we consulted. She was a perfect candidate for amputation. The cancer was a slow moving form, so her chances were very good.
As it turned out the surgeon was there that day and had some extra time after a surgery. I handed over Sierra’s leash and we drove off in the pouring rain. Two hours later I got a phone call. She had come out of anesthesia and was eating her first meal.
We had to pick Sierra up the night of her surgery and take her to the emergency hospital for over night care. When I saw the technician bring her out and she was walking by herself just 7 hours after surgery, tears welled up in my eyes. Can you imagine what it must have been like for her to wake up and her leg was missing? Her will to move forward overwhelmed me. I felt like we had just fallen into a Disney movie.
It was a long, hard month. I was little prepared for what was to follow emotionally or physically. Sierra wasn’[t bandaged and I had to deal with her shaved, stitched up wound.
Doubts plagued my mind over whether I had made the right choice. At first, Sierra needed constantly attention. My normally independent dog whined if I went to the bathroom. She couldn’t stand me to be out of her sight for the first five days. I slept in the living room for four weeks, tending to her wound, taking care of her, as she recovered.
Sierra is a fighter. I’m fairly sure she got through the month alot easier than I did. Though she was confined to a small area so she couldn’t move around, she was determined to stand up while eating two days after surgery.
Things went along nicely until that August. One day she let out a yelp and couldn’t walk. Six hours later in emergency we got the bad news. She had severe arthritis in her remaining hip and leg.
Things seemed bleak at that point. The Vet was not optimistic at all. She’d need medication and probably would be house bound. But, no one asked Sierra what she thought! Once she got on medication and the pain subsided, my wonder dog was determined to do everything she had done before though a little slower. She demanded her two walks a day. She demanded to be taken to family parties. She refused to give in. Exercise, supplements, and pain medication have kept her happy and mobile.
Sierra is 13 1/2 now. It’s been 3 years since her leg was amputated and almost 3 years since she was diagnosed with arthritis. She is just starting to show signs of age. But, she’s still the first one up in the morning, she’s happy to visit with people and manipulate them into a tummy rub, and, she never misses a meal.
I have my own limitations because of arthritis. But, when I see Sierra waiting at the door in the morning to start her day, I am reminded that at least I have all my limbs. If she can get up, then I can get up. It is hard not to appreciate her incredible spirit. She is my inspiration.