23 February 2018

Published February 21, 2018 by rochellewisoff

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Marie Gail Stratford

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100


            Weary from tending her feverish child, she sank into her rocking chair. The baby, who had howled with pain most of the night, finally calmed. Abigail Adams caressed her daughter’s silky head and kissed her cool cheek.

            “Sleep, now, my sweet Suky.”

            Suky’s four-year-old sister tiptoed into the room. Abigail stopped rocking and held out a hand to her. “Can you not sleep, Nabby?”

            “I dreamt the angels plucked a rose from our garden.” Nabby patted the baby’s back. “Is she feeling better, Mother?”

            “Yes, my darling. Our rose is feeling ever so much better.”

            “Then why are you weeping?”




Although much has been written about Abigail Adams, wife of President John Adams, I could find precious little about Grace Susanna Adams who died when she was 13 months old. As a mother, I cannot imagine the agony of losing a child that young, but, my friend and fellow fictioneer, Dale Rogerson, can for she has “been there.” 


One of life’s happy ‘accidents’ came while following the research trail came in learning that there is a rose named Abigail Adams. Who knew? 

120 comments on “23 February 2018

  • Beautifully told story. Rose plucked from the garden is just the right image for this scene. I can feel the mother’s sorrow but also there is some kind of relief and acceptance that her baby is finally at peace and in no pain. Our friend Dale seems to have gone through so much in life, with a late husband and child. And yet she smiles and keeps that cheery perspective on life. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  • ‘the angels plucked a rose from the garden’ – such a beautiful description for something so traumatic. I agree, I have no idea how any parent could recover form such a thing, and anyone who has been through such a thing has my greatest admiration.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Iain,

      I’ve known a few who have lost children. Back when my children were babies one friend lost her toddler to meningitis and another lost her infant to SIDS. I don’t know if either of them quite recovered. 😦 Thank you re my story. 😀



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Larry,

      From what I’ve read, the White House was a cold and drafty place, still under construction when they moved in. And no one is really immune to tragedy, are they? The story of John and Abigail is fascinating. They were truly equals and madly in love. 😀 Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

      • I read a biography of him a while ago. She had a good memory. Historians have proven that she memorized, instead of copying, the poetry she sent to him, because she would often make small mistakes with the words. If the poems would have been sent word.for.word perfect, that would have proven she’d copied them.


    • Dear Linda,

      What’s not to admire? This little jaunt into the past really whetted my appetite to know more about her. But for all her intelligence and chutzpah, I couldn’t help but zero in on her heartache at losing a young child. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    You do have a knack for taking a piece of history and weaving a beautiful story around little-known facts. I so love how you do that. And am deeply touched by your aside. xoxo

    Lotsa love,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale,

      Aw shucks. I do like to snuff out the humanity in history. Of course, you’ve personally experienced the pain Abigail undoubtedly did. The trouble with the history books is that they’re dry and leave out the human side of it. I think I’ve waxed redundant here. So I’ll just shut my fingers up and say “Thank you.”

      Shalom and hugs,


      Liked by 1 person

  • In many ways the Adams’ were my favorite founding father (and mother). John was modern in many ways, particularly in that he thought of Abigail as a true partner in all that he did. Nice humanizing story about this amazing woman.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Really touching and well written, the story better for having added the child’s VP.

    Some folks these days are eager to denounce drugs as “unnatural” and “toxic chemicals poisoning our bodies.” I say “Hurray for antibiotics” that saved many children’s lives, vision, hearing.

    Liked by 1 person

  • As Neil said, expertly crafted Rochelle. You led us through the long night with Abigail, steered us towards relief at a fever passed, then that last line when our realisation dawns, poor Abigail’s relief that her child’s suffering is over. Just beautifully, tenderly done. Superb

    Liked by 2 people

  • Hi Rochelle, I hope you’ve been well lately. 🙂 I love it when coincidences come together like that, like the rose named Abigail Adams. One of the little side joys of writing. This is a beautiful story, although sad. I can’t imagine what that would be like.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear David,

      There are so many joys (and disappointments and frustrations) to writing, aren’t there. One of my joys this week is seeing you here amongst the Hollywood Squares. 😀 Thank you re my story. I can’t imagine that kind of anguish either.




  • Dear Rochelle,

    You’ve bought tears to my eyes D:

    I’m glad that at least such a beautiful rose was named after a treasure-of-a-baby taken from her mother so young. You have written about it with such sensitivity and evoked the atmosphere of the moment so well, when faced with her four year-olds’ question.

    The loss of a baby is every mother’s dread. I used to keep going to check on my babies if they were too quiet, to see they were still breathing. Dale amazes me the way she has got through so much sadness in her life and has such a wonderful smiley face and spreads sunshine wherever she goes.

    I hope all is going well with your coffee table book. I’m still buried in my novel and have had a couple of weeks fighting with how to pick up certain threads in order to resolve the story. It has been giving me brain ache. My son is doing better. He is 120K words into his fantasy novel and has nearly reached the end. Oh, to have a young brain and the opportunity to work late into the night!

    All best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sarah,

      I don’t have a clue whether or not the rose has anything to do with Abigail’s loss. I just loved it that there was a rose named after her. One of those serendipities that appear at just the right moment. 😉

      I had two friends who lost babies–one a toddler and the other a month old infant. I’m not sure the former ever recovered from the loss. I agree about Dale. I’ve told her more than once that she is my hero. Such a strong and positive woman with the smile that brightens her world

      As I write I’m back and forth between FF and tweaking stories and jpegs to go in the coffee table book. At the same time in dread that my publisher won’t follow directions and muck the whole thing up.

      Hope to catch up one day soon.



      Liked by 1 person

  • A powerful piece of writing, Rochelle. This line “I dreamt the angels plucked a rose from our garden.” and the last line are so powerful. They just stand out and stay in your mind.
    It’s always a tragic to lose a child. No matter what age, it’s always difficult for the parents to cope up with such a loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  • This breaks my heart. It must have been really sad for a mother to lose her child just a few days after she’s born. I can’t even imagine the grief she must have gone through.

    Coming across a rose called Abigail Adams is such a happy accident. Maybe God is watching all of us after all.

    A very heartfelt tale, Rochelle.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Doris Whipple W(T)F,

    Once again, you’ve made a forgotten sidenote of history come alive with the tinkling of your magic fingers. It always pains my heart to walk through a cemetery and read the tombstones of the tender roses who were plucked at such a tender age.

    Keep your chin up and your teeth in,
    Paul E. Gripp

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Paul E. Gripp,

      I do the same thing in cemeteries. You know there’s a heartache there that some never recover from. Doing my best to keep my choppers in and my fingers from squeezing the…you know. Thanks for coming by.


      Doris Whipple W(T)F

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Liz,

      That must’ve been hard for your mother. I have a 35 year old son and I would be crushed if anything happened to him or his older brothers. It must’ve been difficult for you to lose your brother. re my story, thank you.




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