Evelyn King Mumaw
Im guessing I was nine or
ten when it happened.
One afternoon I was
trudging up the road on the way home from
school. For some reason I was by myself
and loving my aloneness, for then I could
daydream as I reveled in
doingdaydream about all the years
that lay ahead and of what it would be
like when I was grown.
It was a delightful,
lazy fall dayprobably with white
clouds in a blue sky and the air pleasant
and balmy. Soothing, restful country
quiet was all about me, broken only
occasionally by an automobile on the
Lewis Road in the distance, the mooing of
a restless cow, the chirping of a
And I was very happy.
Something about that
dreamy day made me feel like it was a
very special timea day I would like
to remember always.
But then, I thought, How
could I do that? So many afternoons would
come and go, many like this one. Likely
this one will melt into the past and be
lost as one of a thousand other days.
I decided to try
something Id never heard of doing.
Id think real hard about this
wonderful day, about what it was like,
about where I was, about how happy I was.
Id vow never to forget it but to
think about it often. And maybe I could
remember it even when I was a grown-up,
That was 70 years ago
and more. Guess what, little Evie: I do
still remember that special yet ordinary
fall day and the vow you made never to
Mumaw, Harrisonburg, Virginia, ended her
account of generations of ancestors plus
her own story through age 13, The
Merging: The Story of Two Families and
Their Child (Telford, Pa.: DreamSeeker
Books/Pandora Press U.S., 2000, pp.
193-194), with the above anecdote, which
she wrote at age 80, some three years
before the article that follows. Taken
together, the writings above and in the
Death Announces Its Nearness" provide
bookends to a lifetime.