This will be the 99th anniversary year of Doris' death. She died on August 19th and was buried in a tree laden cemetery on the side of a hill in the Hartz mountains overlooking the town of Hasserode, near Wernigerode.
It was a bitter final year of her life. Her daughter died six months before her and her son-in-law died before that. We know that a deaconess nurse was caring for ailing missionaries in a missionary house somewhere in this little valley. There is no record of where this house might have been, but likely it was near the church at the bottom of the hill below the cemetery.
sWhile I am focusing on writing the biography of her husband (who had died in India seven years earlier), I never forget about Doris and her story. There was no one left to maintain her grave. Just as the grave of her husband has been left forgotten. I am writing to revive their memory, not just for sentimental reasons. The lessons of their lives, both in Germany and India, in war and in peace, in sickness and in health, in life and death, speaks to the resilliance of faith and a greater good, higher vision.
She must have missed her home and church back in India. What memories had she stored in her heart. As I was browsing through pictures of my past year's travels, I found this video taken in Ranchi. The hymn is Rock of Ages and was likely sung in Hindi at the time Doris left Ranchi in 1915. The women standing off to the left side of this video are standing where Doris would have stood. I looked up the words for the German version of the song, and thought they would be words that ran through her mind as she passed out of this world into the next:
Now as I still live in the light
When my eyes in death takes flight
When through gloomy valley go
When I stand before the throne
Rock of Ages set me free
Hid eternally in Thee.
As I write the stories of these faithful ancestors. I long to bring the light of their life out of hiding. They cared not for glory, but in sharing their glory, and the glory of their God, I am continuously inspired and encouraged. I think of their stamina, their strength, their love, their sense of justice, their perseverance, unfailing hope, and perpetual joy.
These musings include the journey of my writing on the history of my great great grandparents and the travels for research to India, Germany and other places of interest.