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Monroe County NY Records

Diary of Elizabeth M. Vogel

Copied from the diary of Elizabeth M. VOGEL, these excerpts had been torn out of a diary and were inserted into a notebook Elizabeth kept containing family history. These excerpts offer insight into the life of the VOGEL family of Coldwater, New York, in the week preceding the death of Elizabeth's mother and also a peak into an earlier time. Elizabeth was the first member of the family to go beyond Holy Ghost School. She graduated from Nazareth Academy in Rochester, and went on to become one of the first female bank officers in Rochester. Donated and transcribed by anne trabold.

Monday, February 8, 1932

The pupils of Sacred Heart Academy had a play, the first public one in their annals, Miss Devins told us. Therefore, she, Margaret and Hilda went. All the doctors in town were there. Then they came home, the car snapped the ice so that it scared us, principally Gabriella. Early in the evening it had rained and then later on, it froze. When Margaret called, she got set on the ice and would have gone to the grape arbor, but Leonard lent his physical support, giving her a big push. Mother stayed up all the while we said the Rosary. Priscilla played nurse until Miss DEVINS returned. Ray was stuck on State Street with the truck. Mr. Crowley had to tow him. We did not get home until about quarter to seven. I sent a brief report to Srs. Bartholomew and Martinella and Fr. STRATEN hoping my letters would reach their destination before Lent.

Tuesday, February 9, 1932

The men went up to the Cemetery and worked, drawing stones and leveling. The crow bar accidentally fell and hit Hank SMALLE. Leonard said they certainly did razz him all afternoon. Mother was very weak again today. She had such terrible gas attacks. Her body is so noticeably bloated and she seems listless. Viola seemed to be a very little better. Priscilla went to Isabella's to have a dark blue slip fitted. I had a party for Neil but he unexpectedly walked out before it was time to hold it. We nevertheless had ice cream with little red candies (Valentine hearts) and cup cakes. Today is Neil's birthday. I had a queer headache and felt sort of "all in," so I went to bed early, before all the rest of the folks. Lucy shampooed her hair, beginning when we were all ready for bed.

Wednesday, February 10, 1932

Ash Wednesday. Priscilla and I went to St. Joseph's for Mass. We had ashes all down our faces. It stayed on all day. I felt so tired that I went down stairs to rest for a while in the afternoon. Mr. ______ knew I was gone for a long time but I could not help it. In the evening we went to our church, as Miss DEVINSsaid, though Mother was in danger, it was not immediate. In the morning when Leonard asked her if she wanted to sit up, Mother said she was too tired, and when Leonard met us at the car line he said, "Mother will never get up any more." When we came home Mother was lying on her side, her left arm outside the spread. As she breathed her arm moved up and down. We watched it go, and a queer something settled inside as we wondered how much longer it would move like that. Mother had a fairly good night. Woke up rather frequently but went back again to sleep as soon as Miss DEVINS changed her position.

Thursday, February 11, 1932

We all went to work, but Dr. ROSS told us it was but a question of hours. Dr. SIMPSON was at the bank and discussed Mother's condition. He too verified Dr. ROSS' assertion. Viola too is bad. The doctor said he just can't understand how she lives. Around supper time Edward FISHER, the policeman, and his wife were here. They did not know Mother was so bad. Aunt Emma came down in the afternoon and had to leave just before supper. Uncle Josie called for her. Isabella was up and stayed for supper. Later in the evening Mother became weaker and we called Uncle Joe's up & the aunties down. Reuben & Maude came up too, from the Grange. Three times during the night we thought surely Mother was leaving us, once at 9, again at 11, and once more at 3 A.M. Then Mother rallied, her pulse became more regular & Miss Devins said she felt sure she would live through the night. Priscilla had an attack of acute indigestion. She vomited and vomited, and took everything under the sun. Finally Miss Devins prepared a mustard drink and that settled the trouble. Priscilla was a sick girl, a very sick girl for about two hours.

Friday, February 12, 1932

We all went to St. Mary's for Mass. Father brought Mother Communion after Mass, and promised to come tomorrow. Miss DEVINS went to bed and was intending to get up when Father ERRAS came, but once in bed, she did not get up until later when we called her because we thought Mother was weaker. In the afternoon, Mother was very much weaker. We called Uncle Joe's and Raymond went after the aunties. We prayed almost all afternoon. Winnie called on the phone but Priscilla asked Miss Devins to answer for her as she did not want to leave the bedside. Mrs. FISCHER and Angeline SCHEG called to see Mother in the afternoon. They heard she was better. We opened the door and they looked at her but Mother was too weak to know. Father ERRAS called in the afternoon and blessed Mother so that she could (receive) the Plenary Indulgence at death. When he was leaving Mother said "Thank you, Father Erras." Margaret Owen came out & offered to stay with Miss DEVINS all night so that we could sleep, but Priscilla & Lucy stayed up until three, and then Gabriella stayed up until Mass time. We were all up until after midnight. All through the night the girls sprinkled Mother with holy water. It seemed it helped her when she moaned.

Saturday, February 13, 1932

No one of us dared to go to work. Leonard & I went to St. Mary's Hospital for Mass. Priscilla & Lucy having been up all night practically, slept until Fr. Erras brought Communion to Mother. Gabriella & Papa went to our church to Mass. I helped hold Mother while Miss DEVINS gave her her hath. She was so heavy. We had to wash, since we needed bedding for Mother. In the afternoon we ironed, cleaned up & did the necessary Saturday tasks. I watched Mother for about an hour and a half. The nurse slept from about 1:30 to five. When she awakened she told us Mother was perceptibly weaker. We called Uncle Joe's. She told Leonard not to go to Confession. We gathered around the bedside, and prayed and prayed and prayed. We lit candles and held them, giving one in Mother's hand. Her fingers were stiff but the nurse bent them, and when Miss DEVINS wanted to remove it, Mother had a grip on it. She breathed weaker and weaker. A cold sweat stood like diamonds on her hair & throat. And then she made a bitter fact, gave two or three gasps and breathed no more. Oh! I had witnessed my first death. It was a holy death but it took part of each one of us along with her. Leonard collapsed over the foot of the bed and cried, Gabriella shook with sobs, Lucy & Papa too cried and I like a frozen one lead the Stations. Priscilla fainted before we finished. Oh, we called people, summoned the undertaker, & cleaned the house, retiring about two. A terrible fear took hold of me & I wanted to run away. I was so scared. Lucy and the rest of us felt much the same way.

Sunday, February 14, 1932

We all went to St. Peter's for Mass at 7:25. Isabella stayed at the house. It seemed we were all so quiet, too quiet almost. Priscilla, Leonard & Papa went to select the casket. Before they returned, Miss Miller & Edna were here. In the early afternoon, Lou, Florian, & Red came out. They were so broken up. Miss DEVINS left about 1 P.M. About eleven we heard Viola had died. Herman stopped at Isabella's and could not talk. Isabella took charge, selecting the coffin, and attending to all details. At her request I gave my pink chiffon dress as a shroud. It gave me a big thrill to think that in some measure I might be of help. Harry, Anna, Marie, little Anne & Alma came, and from here went to Herman's. Viola's corpse did not arrive until after supper whereas they had expected it about 5 P.M. The aunties called and left for afternoon services. It was a hectic day and ended by our saying our prayers by Mother's coffin. The same spirit of fear possessed me and I hated the night, but because I was so tired it annoyed me but little, as sleep soon rid me.

Monday, February 15, 1932

We all went to Mass and stopped at Herman's. Herman could not talk. He was so choked. Isabella stayed at our house and stayed almost all morning and then went to Herman's. We girls went downtown to get hats, gloves, Priscilla & Gabriella coats, Gabriella, a dress; a tie, socks, and scarf for Leonard. Met at Mr. SCHREINER'S, the tailor, who altered Mother's coat for me. Florence KNOEPFLER came out with us and curled Priscilla's & Gabriella's hair. In the evening the Sacred Heart Society said two Rosaries and twice in honor of the Wounds. There were so many people here all could not kneel, hardly. The prayers were wonderful. From our place they went to Viola's. Mr. DEPREZ brought his car full of bank girls out. In the evening, later, Neil & his wife, his mother and sister called. We received floral pieces aplenty, one prettier than the other. Mr. DOUD called & brought a bouquet of spring cut flowers. Simon West sent a bower of carnations. Miss DEVINS went on a maternity case, Dr. PFAFF'S wife.

Tuesday, February 16, 1932

Mrs. Hauck came in the morning. At noon Fr. Schmitt came and blessed Mother. It was so wonderful. He invited us to attend a Mass at 10 a week from Sunday which he is offering for Mother. Leonard went early to Mass at the hospital. He asked Mother to wake him if she wanted him to go, and he wakened very easily. Clara stayed at the house while we all attended Viiola's funeral. Oh it seemed so sad, and so heartbreaking because all the while we knew full well that tomorrow it would be the same with only Herman's & our position changed. Aunt Maggie, Uncle Will & the Kreckel's came in right after the funeral. Isabella stayed at Herman's until noon. They had twenty-four for dinner. In the evening many people came though we thought after last night there were none to come. Mr. & Mrs. HENRICUS, Herb MURA and his wife stayed on into the night. After they left, Mr. HALBNER called regarding the order of cars and was meeting with us when a call came from Oscar asking to be excused as pall bearer, the METZGER boy having died. He made arrangements with the undertaker by phone. Mrs. DOUD brought a cross for Mother that a priest gave her from France.

Wednesday, February 17, 1932

It dawned at last, this dreadful day, and it came with a shower of rain and a gathering of heavy clouds. We were up early, dressed, ate, said our Rosary & Chaplet of Mercy at Mother's coffin and then waited. People came and went, I know, but all I wanted to do was to look at Mother. I riveted my gaze there so as ever and always to remember each pimple, each line, each expression. And then all too soon it was time to go, and we took her, our Mother, OURS, away never to return. Oh who can tell what that means. Fr. BOPPEL in his Monsignor's red, Frs. BISKY & EPPING were in the Sanctuary, Fr. ERRAS of course saying the Mass. And then--the grave. We had to leave her like others have done, but part of us went with her. She took our hearts along. Be it so. It is the price we pay when we love. The taxis drove up the cemetery and then we came home. Home? Oh the awful loneliness. Mary HARRINGTON had stayed at the house. We were just about in good when it poured rain. Gabriella slept in the P.M. as did Papa. Lucy stayed up all day. We went to bed early in the evening. Pall Bearers: Hubert, Raymond, Richard, Harry, Norbert & Lawrence.